Oldham apprentices take the lead

May 23, 2014

Oldham apprentices lead the wayEmanuel Whittaker apprentices have become the first in the country to enrol on a new qualification to support the construction industry.

The External Wall Insulation (NVQ Level 3) has been launched by North West based regeneration consortium Procure Plus which has worked with Trinity Business Training Group, representatives from housing provider Salix Homes and the awarding body, GQA, to develop the criteria for the qualification before receiving approval from Ofqual.

Apprentices Matt Casey, 22, and Rachel Howarth, 24, have been employed by Emanuel Whittaker for several years and according to Lee Bradbury, Health, Safety and Environment Manager for the company, both are great representatives of our award winning apprenticeship scheme.

“Rachel and Matt are passionate about their work and have always been committed to their training,” he said.  “We are thrilled they are the first in the country to take advantage of this qualification which meets industry demand for the supply of insulation that reduces carbon emissions.  The qualification will play a significant part in their career progression.”

Matt and Rachel have already completed Level 1 and 2 of the qualification and have been honing their skills on tower blocks across Salford with social housing provider Salix Homes as part of its multi-million pound Decent Homes improvement programme.

DSC_0043 (2) Colin Goodall, investment delivery manager at Salix Homes (pictured back right), said: “We are carrying out major refurbishments at our tower blocks, but we initially found there was a real skills shortage and we struggled to find tradesman who were qualified in external wall insulation, which is essential to make people’s homes energy efficient.

“We worked with our partners to launch this new qualification and generate a workforce of home-grown talent who could deliver this specialist skill. Matt and Rachel were among the first cohort of apprentices and I’m delighted they are now making history and going on to complete the next level of this much-needed qualification.”

The scheme is expected to be rolled out nationally due to demand from contractors and training providers for higher level insulation qualifications.

Mark Wilson (pictured front middle) is responsible for apprentice and trainee development at Procure Plus.  He said:  “It is a true achievement to have created this new qualification in partnership with our members that will support the construction industry as well as develop new career opportunities for qualified operatives in the construction sector.”

Emanuel Whittaker has a pool of apprentices engaged through its relationship with Procure Plus and has won several awards because of its commitment to training young people.  In its 175 year history the company has supported over 700 apprentices.

New-look tower block transforms Salford skyline

Sep 28, 2013

A £3 million refurbishment project at an ageing Salford tower block has been completed.

For the past 18 months social housing provider Salix Homes has been working alongside construction company Emanuel Whittaker to overhaul Floral Court in Higher Broughton.

The 14 storey high rise building, which was built in 1964, has been completely rendered, cladded and painted in striking shades of orange and white, totally transforming the once grey tower block.

Floral Ct 1

Internally the 88 flats have been fitted with new doors, modern kitchens and bathrooms and have been either rewired or electrically upgraded. The roof of the building has also been replaced and the lifts have been upgraded.

A state-of-the-art Eco-Pod heating system, which uses solar thermal energy, has also been fitted to the roof, which will slash the building’s carbon footprint.
Salford based-housing provider Salix Homes was recently named by Salford Council as the chosen landlord to take ownership of the 8,500 council homes in Salford they currently manage in a proposed stock transfer.

This latest regeneration work forms part of a wider multi-million pound home improvement programme across Salford and the housing provider is promising to invest a further £700 million over the next 30 years if the stock transfer goes ahead.

Joe Willis, chief executive at Salix Homes, said: “This major investment at Floral Court marks a major milestone in our Decent Homes improvement programme and we are very proud to have worked alongside Emanuel Whittaker to provide our tenants with the modern, desirable and economical homes they deserve.

“Salix Homes is committed to providing high quality accommodation for the people of Salford now and into the future and this refurbishment project is testament to this. Floral Court has been completely transformed for the better and we are confident that these improvement works will make a huge difference to our tenants’ quality of life.”

During the refurbishment work, contractors uncovered a commemorative brick inscribed with 1964 – the date the block was built. To mark the completion of the project, a mural has been created at the entrance to the building with the original brick, alongside a 2013 inscribed brick.

Resident Kevin Petitt, 55 who has lived in the block for 12 years, was chosen to unveil the commemorative brick mural. He said: “The improvement work has made such a difference to my home. The new heating system is just marvellous; I haven’t even had to use my heating for the past three months because the building is so warm.

“I loved my home before, but I love it even more now – it’s the best place I’ve ever lived. I was very proud to unveil the brick mural because this place means a lot to me, it’s my home.”

Terry Kidman, contract manager for Emanuel Whittaker, added: “It’s been a pleasure to work with the Floral Court residents who have reported 100 per cent satisfaction with the work we have done on their individual flats and the communal areas of the block. Although we will be sad to go we are pleased to be leaving so many happy customers.”

Salix Homes also worked closely with social housing procurement consortium, Procure Plus, to deliver training opportunities for local residents during the refurbishment work.

Jackie Roach, operations manager at, Procure Plus, said: “By working together on large projects, such as Floral Court, we have been able to assist Salix Homes in identifying and bringing together its material and labour requirements across different projects, improving efficiencies and securing favourable costings.”

Emanuel Whittaker and Salix Homes to collaborate on Green Deal Pilot

Jan 18, 2012

Following good foresight to embrace challenges of Green Deal, Emanuel Whittaker will be working in conjunction with Salix Homes on a number of eco retrofit projects within Salford to pilot PAS 2030. Lessons from the learning and sharing trial will be captured through a joint Emanuel Whittaker/Salix project blog from February 2012.

Matt Roberts at Salix commented “This pilot is an excellent opportunity to work with our partners to ensure they are committed to providing a skilled and energy aware workforce, which will help us deliver against energy efficiency targets now and in the future. It will also provide valuable lessons in advance of the Green Deal going live, giving added reassurances of both quality and service.

Clive Newton at Emanuel Whittaker “Green Deal is an excellent fit for Emanuel Whittaker, enabling us to bring our vast experience of quality and traditional skills into a modern green building environment alongside our valued clients and supply chain Green Deal is a continuation of our commitment and progress to becoming a truly green builder, following naturally from achieving ISO 14001 last year and our Construction Carbon initiative to monitor and reduce carbons using the ConstructCO2 tool”.

Green Deal is the Governments flagship initiative to address energy performance of buildings in the UK. It will deliver a potentially huge volume of eco refit work to homes and business premises commencing in 2012. PAS 2030 is the stringent standard to which all Green Deal installers will be required to become accredited to by autumn 2012 to be part of the Green Deal and other eco retrofit projects.

Emanuel Whittaker initiated a robust Green Deal preparation and delivery strategy early in 2011 with preparation activities across the whole of the business, that includes awareness training for all staff, tool box talks for sites, a review of quality and environmental system to meet the necessary PAS 2030 accreditation early in the new year, in addition to reviewing and addressing the energy performance of their premises.