Last updated: 14.03.17

Celebrating ten years of working with the social housing sector

Celebrating ten years of working with the social housing sector

Over the last 10 years, Virtual College has been pleased to support and work with a number of housing associations to develop online training packages.

These learning resources are designed to be cost-effective and flexible in order to adapt to the agile nature of housing and the pressure on budgets during this turbulent period.

To mark this 10 year milestone, and recognise the important part played by our loyal partners, we were delighted to present awards to those who have played a significant role in learning within the social housing sector.

One of the pioneering social housing providers, Incommunities, was actively involved in the development of the foundation course content. Their ‘longstanding customer award’ reflects a relationship with Virtual College that goes back the full ten years.

Clarion Housing has been particularly successful in using e-learning to enable residents to return to work.

Fiona Sheen, Customer Account Manager at Virtual College, said:” This is a really useful and generous free service Clarion Housing Group is providing and they are worthy winners of this Gold Award.

“Tenants have access to IT skills, including Microsoft Office training, and courses in life skills such as ‘managing a home’ and ‘healthy living’. “Employability support is provided by the online courses and sector skills courses are also included which deliver the specialist training required in certain types of jobs.

Ryan Matthews, Clarion Housing Group’s Employment and Training Team Leader, commented: “These e-learning resources provide a huge range of flexible, cost effective options which will fit in with 95% of our tenants’ needs.

“They can learn from home if they have IT access but we also run sessions for those who need us to provide available IT or need some IT skills support.

“Online learning is an important complement to the other services we offer to help people get into work.

For over 3 years, Broadacres Housing Association has achieved consistently high levels of course completion rates amongst its learners and has been highly successful in encouraging their staff to use online learning for professional development.

Gail Hodgson, Broadacres Head of Human Resources, commented: “Broadacres has a committed and dedicated team who embed learning and good practice through core refresher training which we now are able to deliver in a cost effective and efficient means.

“To achieve this award shows that we have embraced e-learning and is a fantastic achievement.”

Meanwhile, Boston Mayflower has been recognised by online learning provider, Virtual College, with a Gold Award for its ‘outstanding use of learning technology.’

Fiona Sheen said:”Boston Mayflower are exemplary in their use of online learning to support staff training and compliance across the organisation which in turn helps them provide high levels of service to their customers.”

NCHA has been offering online courses through Virtual College for around four years. In that time, almost a thousand members of staff have taken a course. In total, staff from NCHA have taken a total of 5,200 courses online.

Richard Burke, Assistant HR Manager – Training at NCHA, said: “It’s gratifying to see our staff recognised for the effort they have put in. We use online learning for all kinds of training, from food hygiene and money matters to conflict resolution and risk assessment. NCHA’s staff are spread out across the East Midlands, and often work in roles that mean it’s hard for them to attend a traditional 9-5 training course, so elearning is a brilliant way to allow them to improve their skills at a time and place that suits them.”

The full list of awards winners:

  • Long standing customer award – Incommunities
  • Significant contribution to tenant engagement – Clarion Housing Group - Ready2Work
  • Best Practice in Learner Engagement - Nottingham Community Housing Association
  • Outstanding use of e-learning –Broadacres Housing Association
  • Outstanding use of learning technology – Boston Mayflower