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Apprenticeships in the home' for tenants

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today offered wannabe decorators and carpenters the opportunity to become “an apprentice in the home” - and…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today offered wannabe decorators and carpenters the opportunity to become “an apprentice in the home” - and get paid to hone their skills.

Under the Tenant Cashback Scheme, responsible residents will have the chance to tackle everyday DIY dilemmas like leaky taps, fitting doors and painting and decorating.

Those who sign up to the scheme could not only receive cash for their efforts - those who get a taste for DIY could also get on the career ladder with the opportunity of basic training programmes to help them develop their skills even further.

Mr Shapps said the Tenant Cashback scheme offers the opportunity:

  • For tenants to earn extra cash - up to £500 a year for those who sign up and agree to undertake minor repairs in their homes; and
  • For communities to come together to take on repairs for their area, pooling their money to improve the local area and help neighbours who can’t do the work themselves

Today, the Minister met with councils and housing associations across the country, and urged them not to deny their tenants the opportunity for a fulfilling career - which could start in the comfort of their own homes.

Some landlords are already leading the way. These include:

  • Home Group - Social tenants in Coulby Newham, Durham, Braintree, Essex and Cumbria are being offered tailored DIY courses at a B&Q training centre to support them in carrying out their own repairs;
  • Bromford Group - Dudley, Lichfield, Cotswold, Stratford residents receive one to one advice on maintaining their homes and tenants have provided videos with hints and to help their neighbours get started; and
  • Together Group - Residents are all receiving basic DIY training, with wider support offered around developing a CV and employment opportunities.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said:

Rather than having to wait for landlords to act, tenants should be able to tackle their own DIY dilemmas and get paid for it.

Tenant Cashback offers just that opportunity, with as much as £500 a year available to residents who sign up to tackle such minor repairs as leaky taps and decorating. And for some, this could even serve as an apprenticeship in the home and the start on a path to a whole new career.

This, combined with the potential to bring the local community together to improve the local area, means all councils and housing associations should give residents the right to take up tools through this new scheme.

Notes to editors

  1. Social housing landlords are responsible for more than four million homes, and spend an average of £1,000 per property annually on repairs.

  2. Tenant Cashback allows residents to take more control of their repairs budgets for their homes, for example, by carrying out their own DIY or commissioning it locally - allowing them to pocket any savings made which can then be used as they see fit, such as towards the deposit on their own house.


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Published 6 March 2012