Osprey Housing appoints two ‘apprentices’ to the board

01/09/2023
Left to Right: Board apprentice Lauren Allan of Barratt Developments and Niamh Johnston of Brodies LLP with Osprey's CEO, Stacy Angus

OSPREY Housing has appointed two new ‘apprentice’ board members to help widen diversity and deepen understanding of the communities the social landlord serves. 

Joining as Osprey’s first non-voting boardroom apprentices are Lauren Allan, an assistant technical co-ordinator with Barratt Developments, and University of Aberdeen law graduate Niamh Johnston, a member of Brodies’ Aberdeen banking and finance team and recently qualified solicitor. 

Osprey CEO Stacy Angus said: “We received an amazing response when we advertised these year-long roles, both in terms of application numbers and candidate quality. 

There are a lot of great people out there, and we know it’s often difficult — especially in the Aberdeen area — to gain board experience. 

We’re therefore delighted to be able to offer this opportunity, and both our apprentices have an excellent balance of skills and ambition. Their approach to social impact and sustainability fits well with our own ethos.”

Osprey currently owns and manages more than 1,800 properties across Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City, and Moray.  

Robert Gordon University graduate Lauren Allan, who is originally from Carluke and studied architectural technology, said: ‘I couldn’t pass up the chance to understand the workings of a board so early into my career. 

“Everything I’ve learned since joining the Osprey board recently has been invaluable and I look forward to continuing to grow throughout my apprenticeship.”

Aberdonian Niamh Johnston, who also joined the board, said: “I’ve always been interested in the third sector — housing associations in particular — and it’s great to have the opportunity to work within an organisation whose values align so closely with my own.”

Osprey Director of Corporate Services Clare Ruxton — whose brainchild the apprentice scheme is — said: ‘Our strategy is a win-win, bringing huge benefits to Osprey and to those selected for these apprenticeships. 

“Like most not-for-profits, our existing board has historically mainly comprised retired professionals and they bring us an enormous wealth of sector experience and skills. But our boards have not always reflected our tenant base quite as closely as they could, and this scheme will widen our demographic and help us connect more effectively. 

For our apprentices, this is an amazing opportunity to gain first-hand experience of how a board works and will provide them with vital skills and knowledge to become effective full members further into their careers.” 

Ms Angus added: “At Osprey Housing we’re known for our innovation and introducing new ways to make our tenants’ rental experience go more smoothly, such as our car club, better online service access, and our hardship support scheme. 

We have also always invested heavily in our people, and this is another example of how we continually strive to develop and grow in alignment with our core values and culture.” 

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