Branch Secretary :

Government to review social housing training

Squeeze on training


For many years Unite reps in social housing have been pressing for better training opportunities for workers while there has been a squeeze on day release and other training in the name of cost saving.


Last week Eddie Hughes, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing said that a review on qualifications and professional training will drive up standards by making sure social housing staff are better equipped to support tenants, deal effectively with complaints, and make sure homes are of good quality.


The Social Housing White Paper Professionalisation Review will explore the qualifications currently available for staff, with landlords, residents and trade bodies putting forward recommendations to the government. It will also consider if additional training is required to improve the service to residents.


Take training more seriously


Unite reps will welcome any move to press housing employers to take training more seriously. We will be engaging with employers directly to ask them how they intend to respond.


Better training for front line workers and managerial staff is important. It comes as there has been mounting criticism of housing associations for maintenance failures and the latest English Housing Survey report shows that more than 59% of social housing residents who complained were not happy with the response to their complaint.


However, a careful analysis of high-profile cases shows the problems start with the priorities of housing associations, determined at the very top. In recent evidence to Parliament (Oral Evidence to Inquiry into Social Housing Regulation) Clarion CEO Clare Miller explained problems highlighted by ITV as stemming from a decision to halt cyclical repairs on the estate pending demolition as part of a regeneration project.




When the project was delayed, the impact of halting cyclical repairs mounted with horrific consequences for tenants. She also rejected the suggestion that the association has run down the estate. On the face of it, these two claims stand in contradiction.


SHAC, the housing association tenant and resident group linked to Unite also put evidence to the committee.


Scandals like this reflect proprieties set at the top of housing associations and the lack of democratic accountability to residents and communities.


Reps should contact branch officers for support in campaigning for training.


23 January 2022


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