£5 million investment boosts local economy
Published by Karen Connell for Sentinel Housing Association Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
Sentinel HomeTeam Focus Group meeting left to right: Customers; Joan Poulter, Kay Armour and Steve Thorn, Sentinel’s Assistant Director Neighbourhoods
Sentinel Housing Association has announced the creation of a new £5m business helping to boost the local economy. Sentinel’s workforce will swell with the launch of its new in-house maintenance service, Sentinel HomeTeam, set up to look after its 8,400 homes.
The new service, will commence repairs and maintenance on Monday 3 September, and transfer 40 people from a national contractor, to it’s locally run business based in Basingstoke, north Hampshire. As well as existing contractor staff a further 10 new jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities for young people will be created.
Amongst the new jobs created, Sentinel HomeTeam will offer the opportunity to learn new skills and gain qualifications with the creation of at least three apprenticeship opportunities in key maintenance areas such as plumbing, electrical and decorating.
The new maintenance service will give Sentinel greater control over quality and service development, and offer real opportunity for delivering a high value service for all its customers. State of the art IT systems will help to minimise journey times and cut the carbon footprint of the HomeTeam vans.
The new HomeTeam service will be based at its offices in Watson Way, Winklebury, which has just been refurbished by local building company Champion Group, also based in Basingstoke.
Sentinel Housing Association’s Customer Services Director, Val Bagnall explained, “Being a great landlord is at the heart of what we do at Sentinel, bringing our maintenance service in-house will really help us to provide a top class service for our customers. As well as making major efficiency savings for the company, we are offering more secure job opportunities to experienced local tradespeople, and helping to get people skilled, qualified and into work at a time when many in the building trades are struggling for work.”
Sentinel customer Kay Armour explains how resident involvement has helped to shape the new service, ''Having been involved with the Sentinel HomeTeam focus group, I am delighted with the progress of the venture, to see it come from an idea with input from customers, to a fully operational business and I can't wait for the launch in September.
“Sentinel has taken into account the suggestions, views and concerns of its customers and as a result I can envisage a smooth launch and a successful operation from here on.''