Did you know Curo is one of the biggest employers in the Bath area, employing 500 people in a wide variety of roles? A career path at Curo is unique and often surprises even the individual involved, as Head of Colleague Experience Donna Warr testifies:
“Three years ago I didn’t know anything about the housing sector and the vital work that it does for society. In my time here I’ve had the opportunity to connect with many local schools, colleges, universities and students through our work experience schemes, the Curo scholarship and our graduate scheme.
“What became clear to me is that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t understand the career opportunities the housing sector can offer and it’s been amazing to help many people explore and experience just what a great sector this is to work in.”
We recognise the value of investing in our own home-grown talent and encourage colleagues to develop their careers with the company. Michelle Benson and Vicky Hunt have been working for Curo (and our predecessor Somer) since 2000 – both started out as Property Services Officers and were recently appointed to senior roles with the organisation.
Vicky is Technical Operations Manager in Curo’s Response Team: “When I joined it was clear I could make a career in housing and I’ve been able to move through many roles over the years.
“My first role was administration-based but it allowed me to build a strong technical knowledge. I’ve played a key part in several big projects and completed a couple of secondments which helped me broaden my knowledge and learn which types of role suit me best.
“Since then I’ve had several management roles in various teams. In my current role I’m looking to develop my technical knowledge which, in time, will assist me with my upward career path.”
Michelle described her Curo career journey so far: “When I joined Somer I had great support and was able to learn on the job and develop my skills – that resulted in me progressing and managing a team. I moved around the business as a manager, broadening my knowledge and finding what I enjoyed the most and what I was good at.
“I soon realised that people, finance and contracts were areas that I enjoyed and my current role as Commercial Operations Manager has given me the opportunity to use all of my skills and knowledge in one role.
“I’ve worked here for 17 years now; the people are great and there are always new opportunities to challenge yourself, learn and grow.”
Curo has recently boosted the number and range of apprenticeships on offer, to appeal to young people looking to begin their careers in housing. Phil Manning is one of several employees who started their careers with Curo as apprentices. Today Phil is a qualified Electrical Supervisor, responsible for overseeing the work of Curo’s electricians.
“I knew I didn't want to stay on for sixth form,” explains Phil, “and with the little careers advice available at the time, I decided an apprenticeship would be the best option for me.
Phil (pictured with team-mate Mark Pyles) joined Curo, then called Somer, as an apprentice in August 2005, just one week after his 16th birthday.
“I completed a four-year electrical apprenticeship which led to my becoming an electrician – a job I did for eight years. During this time I developed my knowledge and skills through further education and have recently started a new role as a qualified supervisor.
“My advice for people considering a career within housing today is: go for it. My apprenticeship was a fantastic way to gain nationally-recognised qualifications and key job skills while earning money in the process.”
More recently, Shai Dixon is one of 64 people we supported into work last year. Shai is starting off his career at Curo as a Service Charge Apprentice, an office-based role. He was awarded the accolade of Curo Apprentice of the Year recently for his contribution to the finance team at Curo.
Curo Head of Human Resources Jane Jones said: “At Curo we know that delivering excellent customer service starts with having great people who share our values and love what they do. So we invest in our colleagues and recruit people with energy and a passion for customer excellence. Our colleagues tell us they’re proud to work here and personally I’m really proud that Curo has been ranked among the top 100 Not for Profit Employers in the country in the Sunday Times Best Companies list.”
Opportunities at Curo include accredited work placements, apprenticeships, flexible part-time and full-time positions, a graduate programme and even a university scholarship.