Rachel wins Judges Choice Award at Builder and Engineer Awards

Nov 20, 2015

Congratulations to Emanuel Whittaker’s External Wall Insulator Rachel Howarth, who won the Judges Choice Award at last nights Builder & Engineer National Awards at Old Trafford.

Rachel was short-listed for the ‘Rising Star’ award after making history by being the first person in the UK to complete the new External Wall Insulation qualification earlier this year. Rachel was joined by her dad, Paul, and friends and mentors John Woolley, Lee Bradbury and Procure Plus’s Mark Wilson.

When the Rising Star award was won by another nominee, Rachel and her guests were all devastated. Whilst still commiserating, the host announced the final award of the evening – the Builder & Engineer “Judges Choice Award”. Imagine Rachel’s suprise when the host called out her name.

The Judges Choice Award celebrates and recognises outstanding performance within the industry and as the award is drawn across all other categories, it truly is a remarkable achievement. The award highlights individuals or companies who are making an incredible mark on the sector and who deserve recognition for there contribution to the UK’s reputation as a leading design and build nation.

Congratulations to Rachel and all of Emanuel Whittaker’s Mentors who have help her to achieve this award.

Apprentice - Rachel Howarth B&E Award

Former nursery nurse achieves a construction first

Jul 6, 2015

Rachel Howarth 1A former nursery nurse who swapped the playroom for the building site has become the first person in the UK to achieve a ground breaking new construction qualification.

Rachel Howarth (25) is an employee of Oldham building and refurbishment company Emanuel Whittaker and has made history after achieving an NVQ Level 3 in External Wall Insulation at Salford City College’s City Skills Sixth Form Centre.

Lee Bradbury, Health, Safety & Environment Manager for Emanuel Whittaker, said:  “It’s no surprise that Rachel has become the first to qualify.  In her career with us to date, she has been keen to develop and learn new skills and is a great asset to the company.”

Rachel, from Salford, originally trained in childcare, but decided on a career change after being made redundant from her job as a nursery nurse.  She said: “I only went into childcare because I didn’t know what to do when I left school.

“My granddad was a plasterer and I was always into DIY growing up and so after I was made redundant I was happy to join Emmanuel Whittaker as an apprentice plasterer. There is lots of laughing and banter with the lads – I love it.”

After completing her plastering apprenticeship, Rachel was keen to take advantage of the new qualification which was developed by North West regeneration consortium, Procure Plus, who worked with various partners to develop the criteria for the qualification before receiving approval from Ofqual.

Mark Wilson, Regeneration Manager at Procure Plus, said: “Developed in partnership with Salix Homes, this qualification will go a long way to ensure that Rachel and many others have the desired skills to support our industry’s mission in providing robust insulation that significantly reduces carbon emissions.”

Rachel has been honing her skills at Salix Homes’ multi-million pound improvement projects on tower blocks across Salford, including Floral Court in Broughton and Riverbank and Newbank Towers in Greengate.

Mark Foster, head of investment at Salix Homes, added: “Salix Homes was keen to launch this new qualification and generate a workforce of home-grown talent who could deliver this specialist skill and we’re very proud that Rachel is the first to qualify. She is a fantastic role model and a real ambassador for women in the construction industry.”

The UK has approximately 26 million homes and it is estimated that around half of these are not insulated properly with heat escaping through walls, ceiling and windows.  As energy prices continue to increase, wall insulation has never been so important.  The Level 3 NVQ in External Wall Insulation addresses a skills gap within the construction industry, as, prior to its creation, there was no available progression route for Apprentices completing the Level 2 qualification.

Salford City College’s City Skills Sixth Form Centre works closely with partners in the construction industry to deliver bespoke, industry-standard workshops which allow students to develop their skills in a professional environment.  Andrew Hallsworth, Work Based Learning Delivery Leader at Salford City College, said:  “We are pleased to have played a part in Rachel’s success and the delivery of this qualification, which has created new avenues of progression for Apprentices within the construction industry.”

We’ve got Gold!

Jun 30, 2015

Emanuel Whittaker gets a goldEmanuel Whittaker has been awarded the prestigious Investors in People Gold standard,  joining the top 7% of accredited organisations across the UK who believe in realising the potential of their people

Managing Director, Clive Newton said:  “We have successfully completed a demanding assessment process across several days. As well as looking at our administration and operating systems, the process included interviews with myself, senior managers, office staff and site staff from every rank.

“The company scored 186 out of 196 and I am so proud of all our people who work to the same high standards day in, day out.  This gold award is a tribute to how the company is managed at all levels and reflects on the positive ethos and attitude of our employees.”

Investors in People is a management framework for high performance through people. Its prestigious accreditation is recognised across the world as a mark of excellence and it champions best  practice in people management determined via a rigorous and objective assessment to determine performance.

Susan Holt, the assessor from Investors in People said: “Emanuel Whittaker achieved its goals through its positive and consistent people practices.  Everyone is valued for their contribution and the sense of team along with the commitment to business goals is strong across all roles.  It was a privilege to share in the company’s positive culture and be involved in their achievement of Gold.”

This new gold standard will join the company’s other quality accreditations which include Committed2Equality (gold), Construction Skills (Platinum), EN ISO 14001:2004 and  ISO9001:2008.

Human Resource Manager Anna Whittaker was responsible for leading the Investors in People process.  “We are absolutely delighted with this recognition,” she said.  “The gold standard will ensure we maintain and recruit great staff and will also demonstrate to our existing and new clients that we have the best people working at Emanuel Whittaker.”

Emanuel Whittaker has top apprentices – it’s official!

Oct 24, 2013


_KWE0033 _KWE0103
Tam Graham starts the event, winning the Mentor Award Luke Carroll won Best in Trade(multi skilled and joinery)
_KWE0116 _KWE0179
Matthew Casey won Best in Trade (wet trade) Rachel Howarth was voted for by her colleagues to win the Apprentices’ Apprentice Award


Emanuel Whittaker staff scooped four awards at an inaugural apprenticeship award ceremony recently.

The event hosted by Salford based Salix Homes is designed to celebrate and recognise young people who are working through an apprenticeship programme and Lee Bradbury, Health, Safety & Environment Manager said he was pleased the company have taken so many of the gongs.

“We firmly believe in giving young people the chance to train for a long term career,” he said.  “The Emanuel Whittaker apprenticeship scheme is run in close partnership with our clients and local colleges and we are proud to deliver a programme of modern apprenticeships, work opportunities and work experience.  Clearly we must be doing something right to win so many accolades.”

23 year old Rachel Howarth from Salford was voted for by her apprentice colleagues to win the Apprentices’ Apprentice Award.  She is an external wall insulation apprentice but initially trained in childcare. She swopped life in a predominantly female dominated environment for one with the boys.  She said:  “I absolutely love it and I am seen as one of the lads on site and that is how I like it.

Former Site Manager Tam Graham won the Apprentice Mentor Award.  Tam has now moved on to run his own business, but was delighted to be nominated by so many apprentices for the award.

25 year old Luke Carroll won Best in Trade (multi skilled and joinery) and 22 year old Matthew Casey won Best in Trade (wet trade).

Lee adds:  “We believe we have trained around 700 apprentices in our 175 year history.  The   positive   impact   of apprenticeships on individuals, businesses and the economy should not be under-estimated.

“In this time of record high youth unemployment, apprentices offer a skills-based learning programme which helps young people earn a living and provides employers with access to a pool of talented new recruits.

“We are very proud of our award winning young people and we are also grateful to Salix Homes for developing this award scheme which recognises their hard work and determination.”


Salix Homes Chief Executive, Joe Willis pictured with award winners Luke Carroll, Rachel Howarth, Matthew Casey and Tam Graham.

Emanuel Whittaker apprentices shine at Skills Competition

Jun 13, 2013

Pictured here with Salix Homes Investment and Delivery Manager Colin Goodall presenting them with their prize.

Pictured here with Salix Homes Investment and Delivery Manager Colin Goodall presenting them with their prize.

A big congratulations to our talented apprentices Rachel Howarth and Matt Casey who won the recent Skills Demonstration Competition held at Salford City College.

External wall insulation trainees Rachael Howarth and Matt Casey, who both work for Emanuel Whittaker on our Salix Homes projects, went head-to-head with fellow apprentices from across all the Greater Manchester colleges in the Skills Demonstration Competition.

The event, hosted by Salford City College’s new FutureSkills Centre in association with Alumasc Exterior Building Products Ltd, saw competitors install key components of Alumasc’s external wall insulation system onto demonstration walls.

Rachel and Matt have worked on a range of Salix Homes properties in Salford including Floral Court, Black Friar Court and Stoney Knoll. The pair have both passed their NVQ Level Two in External Wall Insulation at Salford City College – a course which was developed in direct response to a skills shortage.

Colin Goodall, investment and delivery manager at Salix Homes, said: “This event really showed off the talent of the apprentices and the quality of training they have had in such excellent facilities.

“The skills displayed on the day by the apprentices were brilliant and Matt and Rachel did fantastically well to win. I’d like to congratulate all the apprentices that took part who are gaining real work experience improving homes in the city, securing the skills and qualifications that will be in demand with employers for years to come.

“The apprentices taking part in this scheme will be top of the league when it comes to securing a job in the future thanks to the hands-on experience and practical learning opportunities that we have been able to provide.”

Allan Milne, Head of Skills Academy for Construction & Built Environment at FutureSkills, said “Many congratulations to the competitors and winners of the event. The level of skill on show was exceptionally high and I know the assessors had a tough time choosing the winners. Many thanks also to Alumasc for their support throughout this project.”

Second prize was awarded to Sam Wardley, from Salford City College, and third prize went to Kyle Moore from The Manchester College.

Phillip Bull, of Alumasc, said “It was clear the competitors found the day really informative and applicable to daily on-site work conditions. The team from Alumasc was very happy to have been invited by Salford City College to be part of the event, and was pleased for the support of the Alumasc Approved Regional Contractors and local Housing Associations who visited on the day and passed on their knowledge to the competitors.”