Housing’s learning organisation has a new home and expanded team.

SHARE, the learning and development organisation for Scotland’s housing sector, has settled into a new office and is embarked on an expansion plan, including taking on additional staff and delivering enhanced services.

The organisation is now based at Saracen House in Glasgow where it has additional office space and a venue for training and events. SHARE has taken over management of ng Homes’ Bob Allan Conference Centre, providing the sector with a great location for meetings and events.

It has been an exciting 12 months for the provider, after its executive committee took the decision to grow and restructure. There is now a second learning and development officer, both experienced in housing and training. The staff changes allow for the development of a new range of housing related training programmes and events.

Through a combination of accredited courses, training, events, and organisational development, SHARE helps housing associations ensure that staff, and committee/board members, have the necessary knowledge and skills to deliver quality services, carry out the critical oversight of the business, and are equipped to tackle the challenges facing the housing sector both now and in the future.

SHARE is a long-standing, highly-respected learning and development organisation with a great reputation and excellent track record for delivering credible, effective learning. It was established in 1985 by a handful of staff, and committee/board members from housing associations in the Glasgow area intent on improving training within the sector.

Alan Ferguson, SHARE’s Director, has been in post now for just over three years and the latest developments are the result of desire in his and the executive committee’s part to put the organisation on a sound financial footing and in a position to grow the services it delivers to the sector.

“SHARE is growing, it’s developing, it’s on the road to sustainability,” said Ferguson. “The office move provides us with greater control over the location for our training and events and brings efficiencies as well, and additional staff means we can meet the growing demand for learning and development within the sector.

“The sector’s needs are changing all the time and you have to provide the right kind of training at a pace to meet that demand. In tandem with that, we are looking at developing events which no-one is providing but which the sector really needs. They might be two-hour sessions, or a whole day, on subjects which are not being covered by other providers.”

Legislative and regulatory changes drive the need for staff or and committee/board training and development: “You are always looking at what the sector needs and we try to respond as quickly as possible,” added Ferguson.

An example of this continual reassessment of sector training provision is SHARE’s forthcoming Bitesize briefing: One year on – the Grenfell tragedy. An topic on everyone’s radar. This is one in a series of briefing sessions for staff and Committee/Board which are short focussed sessions allowing time for plenty of discussion.

Among the speakers is David Stewart MSP – Scottish Labour Party and David Bookbinder, Director, Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations who will be discussing high rise fire safety: are sprinkler systems the way forward?

Joining them is Lesley Baird, Director, TPAS. One of the major issues that arose in the aftermath of Grenfell was that many tenants had tried to raise concerns about the safety of the tower block with those responsible but felt their concerns fell on deaf ears. Lesley will be looking ‘listening to our tenant: how we can do better ‘.

The session will also cover procurement and Scottish Government legislation.

“It’s all about making sure that staff and committee/board members have the right expertise, and that’s what we are determined to provide in support of the vital work carried out by the sector,” said Ferguson.