Together Housing Group Chief Executive, Kevin Ruth started his career journey in what is known today as an apprenticeship.

16-years old, finishing secondary school in Kirkby, Liverpool and unsure of what he wanted to do, Kevin had no thought-out plan for his career all he knew at the time was that he wanted to stay in the North West of England. Seeing a vacancy for an Office Junior at a Manufacturing company, Kevin decided to apply, as it looked interesting and would give him a full-time wage.

He succeeded in getting the job and little did he know at the time that it was the beginning of his journey in what would lead him to become the Chief Executive of Together Housing Group.

Working within the finance team he would attend college on a day-release arrangement. Although he found it challenging at times, he persevered through. Learning many vital skills along the way, he was able to qualify as a Chartered Accountant.

Kevin said: “Starting in a company at the age of 16 was overwhelming at times, having to learn to manage my own time and workload all whilst studying helped me grow personally and professionally and I’m glad I took this route. Even on reflection I wouldn’t change a thing.

Kevin added: “Support, respect and understanding are vital in helping young people find out where they want to go in life. I really appreciate the opportunity I had to undertake an apprenticeship, it allowed me to grow personally and professionally and helped shaped me to be where I am today.”

Following on from his apprenticeship, Kevin spent many years in local government as an internal auditor and in various accountancy roles. Kevin gained lots of experience investigating fraudulent activities and in pulling together funding proposals for raising finance.

After leaving local government he became a senior consultant, advising housing associations and local authorities in business planning and management of housing services.  This developed his interest in the purpose and functions of a housing provider and in 2001 he joined Twin Valley Homes as a Director of Finance when the company was established to acquire 12,000 dwellings from the local council.

Since then, he took on more senior leadership roles and he has recently become the Chief Executive of Together Housing Group.

Kevin believes it’s important to give people a helping hand and through the apprenticeships and Kickstarters that Newground Together’s Employment and Skills department and Together Housing Groups People’s Team offer these opportunities can be created and offered to people in the local communities that the Group works in.

Kevin says: “Our apprentices and what they bring to Together Housing makes the organisation stronger. Whilst they are learning new skills, they are also sharing ideas and knowledge – it’s a two-way system. Our organisation doesn’t compromise on the standard of service we offer instead we invest time and support to help our apprentices learn and develop and contribute to the Group.”

Kevin would encourage anyone interested in an apprenticeship to consider applying to Together Housing Group as you never know you could start as an apprentice and end up as Chief Executive just like he did!