Christmas comes early for Salford church group

Dec 18, 2015

church02Christmas has come early for a Salford church group who have a new and improved community centre in time for the festive season.

Emanuel Whittaker and Salford housing association Salix Homes have come to the rescue of Treasure House in Weaste – a Christian church group which brings people together for worship and community activities.

The group had purchased a warehouse on Eccles New Road to transform into a community hub, but sourcing funding to complete the project was proving difficult.

Emanuel Whittaker are working nearby to improve almost 100 homes on the Meadowgate Estate as part of Salix Homes’ two year investment programme, which will see 2,200 homes across Salford undergo £22m of much needed improvements including new kitchens, bathrooms, windows and doors.

While carrying out improvements to the home of church pastor Soloman Obisan, who is a Salix Homes tenant living on the Meadowgate estate, senior resident liaison officer Adam Berry learnt of the church group’s plight.

Adam, inspired by Soloman’s enthusiasm for this great cause, asked his bosses at Emanuel Whittaker if the company could help and they gave him the green light to offer staff time as well as funds.

IMG_4250It was then all hands on deck as our Salford site teams worked alongside sub-contractors Rixonway Kitchens, Smart Sun Heat and Solar-Gen to re-plaster the walls, install heaters, fit a new kitchen and upgrade the bathroom facilities.

Soloman said: “When the companies told us what they were going to do for us we just could not believe it – we literally sang and danced for joy.

“The kindness and generosity of everyone involved has meant that we can celebrate Christmas in style and help those in the community who may need some support at this special time of the year.”

Mark Foster, head of investment at Salix Homes, said: “Salix Homes is committed to supporting the communities where we are delivering our home improvement schemes and working with our partner contractors to improve local facilities.

“Treasure House will be an excellent community resource and we hope their new and improved building will help them spread some festive cheer this Christmas.”

church03Adam Berry, senior resident liaison officer at Emanuel Whittaker, added: “It’s nice to know that we have been able to provide a long lasting community legacy for the Weaste community, particularly at Christmas time, and all of us involved were delighted to have been able to help.”

Treasure House offers numerous community activities throughout the week. For more information go to

New apprentice recruits start work

Dec 15, 2015

Apprentices 1A Salford housing provider and its partner contractors have welcomed their latest intake of apprentices.

Salix Homes, which owns more than 8,300 homes across central Salford, has appointed 36 apprentices this year in a range of roles from construction to customer service.

The recruits, who are all local people aged between 17 and 41, have been employed directly with the housing provider as well as with its partner contractors including construction specialists Emanuel Whittaker, Seddon, and A Connolly Ltd, and property maintenance providers Sure Group.

Among the apprentices is 20-year-old Salix Homes tenant Tom Denton, from Charlestown, Salford, who is an apprentice joiner with Oldham-based Emanuel Whittaker.

EW apprentice 2Tom said: “I feel really lucky to have been selected for this apprenticeship and being able to earn while I learn. As well as learning a new skill which I know will be useful in the future, it’s good that I am helping to improve my local area.”

The new recruits are working on Salix Homes’ £22million investment programme, which will see improvements made to 2,200 homes in Salford over the next two years including new kitchens, bathrooms, windows and doors.

Mark Foster, head of investment at Salix Homes, said: “We are very proud to work alongside our partner contractors to provide these training opportunities for local people to help them create a better life for themselves. “Apprentices represent the future of the housing sector and we are confident our newest cohort will not only gain valuable skills, experience and qualifications, but will also help us to develop a stronger workforce.”

Over the next five years, Salix Homes will create hundreds of new jobs and training opportunities after tenants voted to transfer the ownership of their homes from Salford Council – a move that has unlocked £75m investment in homes and communities across the city.

John Gallagher, contracts director at Emanuel Whittaker, said: “Emanuel Whittaker is renowned for its apprenticeship training and we have a strong history of working with young people. We are very pleased to be continuing this tradition with this latest selection of recruits at Salix Homes.”

Simon Harrison, managing director at A Connolly Ltd, added: “Our business ethos is to raise awareness of construction careers, and also invest in young people who want to work within the industry. Our commitment to our apprentices is to take them through to NVQ3 in their chosen trade or profession and this has been recognised in our recent award through GM Chamber Wigan business awards in supporting apprentices.”

Maggie Heap, community project manager at Seddon, said: “It is a privilege to be able to welcome our latest raft of recruits 119 years after we first launched in Salford.

“Salix Homes is committed to not only improving people’s home through the improvement works, but also helping young people climb the career ladder. This passion is inspiring and we are delighted to be involved with the project.”

Jane Cunningham, director at Sure Maintenance added: “Well trained, quality gas and electrical engineers are critical, as they keep Salix Homes’ customers safe. We are delighted to have recruited motivated and enthusiastic local people as apprentices to support the on-going future delivery of the Salix Homes electrical and gas services.”

The apprenticeships are run in conjunction with procurement consortium Procure Plus.

Kate Parker, senior regeneration manager at Procure Plus, added: “We are thrilled that both Salix Homes and our contractor partners have provided meaningful, paid employment opportunities for many local people who may have otherwise struggled to secure employment.

“Salix Homes’ commitment to improving properties over the next five years means we can offer full apprenticeships, training people in trades which will ensure they can sustain their own employment for years to come.”

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

Emanuel Whitaker opens Salford training centre as part of multi-million pound contract wins with Salix Homes

Sep 2, 2015

Emanuel Whittaker open new training centre and depot in Salford

Pictured from left: Emanuel Whittaker Contracts Director John Gallgher; Salix Homes Head of Property Service Mark Foster; Executive Director of Operations Sue Sutton; Emanuel Whittaker Contracts Manager Terry Kidman and Partnerships Manager Rukhsana Nabi

Emanuel Whittaker has established an apprentice training centre as part of its new depot in Salford.

Emanuel Whittaker has established the new depot on Missouri Avenue in Weaste to support long-term contract wins in the city, and has created the training facility to help boost local employment opportunities though its work with housing provider Salix Homes.

“Having secured continuity of work in Salford we wanted to demonstrate our commitment to the area. The new office will help us to create sustainable employment, source local suppliers and subcontractors and use local services,” said managing director, Clive Newton.

Emanuel Whittaker works with social landlords across the North West to refurbish their housing stock, and was recently awarded a contract worth over £7 million by Salix Homes to help deliver its £22 million improvement programme to homes across the city over the next two years.

Mark Foster, head of investment at Salix Homes, said: “Emanuel Whittaker is a main partner in our investment programme and has already played a significant role in the first phase of our modernisation plans for our housing stock. Having them based closer to the areas where we work will help us to deliver value for money.  We are particularly excited about the new training facilities, which will allow us and other Salford-based partners more opportunities to work with young people and apprentices.”

As well as the training centre, the Salford office will provide meeting space for local teams and a huge warehouse which will take deliveries of stock to allow for more cost and resource savings.

Other partners who will benefit from the new office facilities will include Salford based housing providers Contour Homes and City West Housing Trust as well as Trafford based regeneration consortium Procure Plus.

Mark Wilson, regeneration manager at Procure Plus, said: “It’s great to see our framework partners offering employment support in the local communities we operate in. As a regeneration consortium, it is vital that we continue to assist the creation of training opportunities within our local areas to sustain long term employment and revitalise the community.”

Emanuel Whittaker director John Gallagher added: “This is a new and exciting phase in the growth of our business and continues our commitment to enhancing social value contribution in the areas where we work.  We currently recruiting three full time staff and we anticipate more vacancies will be available in the future.”

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.”