Monthly Archives: February 2015

Joe revisits BAC14

Hi everyone, its Joe here,

As you are probably aware by now I’m a Carpentry Apprentice for Oakleaf Commercial Services (part of The Community Housing Group – TCHG).  Interestingly, last year I was a part of TCHG’s Brathay Apprentice Challenge (BAC) team; meaning not only am I bringing my Carpentry skills to the team but also my experience of the competition.

Last year we spent our BAC Community Project at St. Mary’s school in Kidderminster, refurbishing a green space into a sensory garden for all the pupils to enjoy.  During the week we spent at the school we undertook a general clean-up of the grounds, completed an installation of a large decking area and held a school assembly.  Our aim was to inspire and excite the young people at the school to become Apprentices in the future, rather than being a ‘non worker’.

Monday 23rd February 2015 I revisited St. Mary’s Primary School; I joined in their assembly and spent time with the school pupils interacting and discussing the benefits of being an Apprentice.

It was great returning to the school and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the pupils.

Here I am pictured with three pupils from St. Mary’s Primary School.

Joe Adams with St. Mary's school pupils


Thanks for reading; catch up soon.



Mark Garnier MP’s Annual Jobs Fair

Hey everyone, it’s Chelsea again.

On Thursday 12th February 2015 I attended Mark Garnier MP’s Annual Jobs Fair at Kidderminster Town Hall. It was supported by The Community Housing Group (TCHG) and over 40 other local employers.

I was there to represent TCHG and promote job opportunities we have on offer. There was a lot of interest and it gave me the opportunity to share my own journey into work with others who are in a similar situation I was in before I got my Apprenticeship.

The event was a great success, not only for job seekers but for employers as well. I gained a lot from it myself, which will help me within my job role.

Chelsea Jay


We have another team meeting on Wednesday 18th February, I will update you on further progress then.



Chelsea Jay – My story #BAC15

Hello there everyone!

This week it is my turn to look after the blog, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to tell my story!

I began my journey with The Community Housing Group (TCHG) in October 2014 after completing a nine day employability programme with Vestia, part of TCHG. I was introduced to the course by Job Centre Plus after being unemployed for 12months. The course was very helpful and demonstrated how to compile my CV and gave guidance on interview techniques.

After completing the course I spent a week on work experience in the busy Customer Service centre of TCHG. During the first day I knew I was going to like it – the team were very nice and really supportive, helpful and understanding.

On completion of the work experience I applied for the position of a Customer Service Apprentice and was successful with my application for an interview. I hadn’t considered an apprenticeship before because I knew the pay was low but I was currently unemployed and I felt this could be my first step towards a long term career with a reputable company.

I went to the interview feeling prepared and organised, if not a little nervous, but felt it went extremely well and came out feeling very pleased with myself. A week after the interview I had a phone call offering me the job. I was over the moon and didn’t hesitate to accept the offer as I knew this was my next path to take. The opportunities are endless being an apprentice and I’m continually learning whilst I’m working, gaining new skills and at the same time obtaining a very worthwhile qualification. I am lucky to have met and worked with lots of fantastic people. There is a huge support network for apprentices which enables me to learn without too much pressure, something I didn’t have in previous employment. Although I am an apprentice I am still treated like any other full time employee but with a little more support.

Overall since becoming an apprentice I have grown as a person and feel more positive about my career. I have more confidence as a person and I have already gained so much knowledge I feel that by the time I have completed my apprenticeship I will be more than ready to continue my path in the world of employment, hopefully within the Community Housing Group.

Thanks for reading! speak soon,


#BAC15 Team Meeting – Wednesday 11th February 2015

Hello everyone!

My name is Chelsea-Rose Jay; I am a Customer Service Apprentice and one of the nine Apprentices from The Community Housing Group (TCHG) taking part in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2015.

Our team meeting this week took place at Purcell House, Kidderminster with two colleagues from Care and Support, who work closely with the tenants that live there.  Purcell House is the venue for our community project; it is a sheltered housing scheme that is home to elderly residents of TCHG.

During the meeting we discussed how our community project could best benefit the tenants. We decided that the people who live there would benefit from having a nice garden and somewhere they will be able to sit and enjoy the summer days.

Team Meeting, Abbey, Chelsea and Evie

Our aim

The aim of our community project is to improve the lives of our tenants at Purcell House and other sheltered housing schemes around Wyre Forest by supplying them with the equipment, knowledge and skills they need to grow and look after their garden as well as helping them network with one another.

Our plan

By using our carpentry and horticultural skills we will be building flower beds for the garden, whilst working with the residents to give them the skills and knowledge they need to plant and look after their own flowers and vegetables.  We will also be setting up their summerhouse to contain furniture, so they can enjoy the summer comfortably in their garden.  A ‘make your own plant pot’ service will also be on offer so residents can use their new found knowledge to decide what flowers they like so they can take them away and look after them.

We will also be offering our technology skills to those who require it, helping residents use the internet or any other computer programmes that would be of benefit to them.

Refreshments and freshly baked cakes made by us, the apprentices will also be available during the event.

Catch up soon….


Charlie Campbell – My Story #BAC15

Hi everyone!

My name is Charlie Campbell, Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2015 team member and I will be looking after the blog this week.

I thought this would be a good time to share my story with you.

In August 2013, I became an IT Apprentice for The Community Housing Group (TCHG).  I was first interested in IT when I was given my first PC, I used to take various bits of it apart and mess around with them.  This prompted me to select IT as one of my GCSE subjects at school as I knew this would further enhance my knowledge of IT in a number of different areas, and it certainly raised my interest in pursuing a career in this subject.

When it was time to leave High School the only option for me was to go to college and continue in higher studies for IT, as I knew my lack of experience wouldn’t get me far.  The option of university seemed to be the only option as it was pushed onto us, with very little information on apprenticeships, so I was led to believe I was going to have to go to University, although I knew that’s not what I wanted.  I didn’t like the idea of continuing education, as I was enjoying IT so much, I just wanted to get out into the working world and start my journey.

It was only during the last few months of college that I heard about apprenticeships from a family friend and they sounded a much better option for me.  I often checked the National Apprenticeship website to see what was available.  I applied for an apprenticeship at TCHG where I was offered an interview and was successful.

The main reason I wanted to do an apprenticeship over university, was to learn on the job.   I am currently enrolled on a college course as a requirement for my apprenticeship, although it’s only part-time.  I have since gained qualifications and I am now a Microsoft Certified Professional.

An apprenticeship was definitely right for me.

On another note we are inviting Baxter College to our head office during March so I will keep you updated with more details.

Thanks for reading, catch up soon!

Charlie, IT Apprentice, The Community Housing Group.