Call for more women in construction as we launch apprentice recruitment drive

Sep 21, 2017

Jake 01 Jake 02 Jake 03Salix Homes and Emanuel Whittaker, together with other partner contractors have launched an apprentice recruitment drive in Salford – and we are calling for more women to consider a career in construction.

Salix Homes are inviting applications, both male and female, for their latest intake of apprentices to work on their multi-million pound investment programme.

Salix Homes have appointed Emanuel Whittaker as one of its principal contractors to deliver their £38million improvement scheme to 2,900 homes across the city over the next three years.

For every £1million invested, Salix Homes and partner contractors have committed to creating two apprenticeship positions for local people, as part of their ‘Earn as You Learn’ initiative.

Sue Sutton, executive director of operations at Salix Homes, said: “We are very proud to work alongside our partner contractors to provide these training and employment opportunities for local people to help them create a better life for themselves.

“We’ve had some tremendous success stories through our apprenticeship programmes – both male and female, so we believe it is important to remember construction in the housing sector is open to all and we want to see more women learning the tools of the trade.

“Only 14% of the workforce in the construction industry is female, but we believe it’s time for a change and women should be able to fulfil their potential and thrive in careers, such as plastering and joinery, that have previously been dominated by men.

“Apprentices represent the future of the sector and our Earn as Your Learn initiative provides a fantastic opportunity for young people, both men and women, to gain valuable skills, experience and qualifications while still taking home a wage.”

The two and three year apprenticeships are run in conjunction with procurement consortium Procure Plus and include positions in a number of principal trades, including plastering, gas engineering and site logistics.

Apprentices will also work towards an NVQ Level 2 and Level 3 qualification.

As well as Emanuel Whittaker, the apprentices will work alongside contractors Sure, The Casey Group and A Connolly Ltd; as well as with Salix Homes’ own Repairs and Maintenance Team.

In the past two years, Salix Homes has recruited 45 apprentices to work across the organisation and with partner contractors, the majority of whom have been with Emanuel Whittaker.

Jake Rawlinson, 22, from Swinton, is a joinery and carpentry apprentice with Emanuel Whittaker working on the Salix Homes partnership and says he’d definitely recommend going down the apprenticeship route.

He said: “My father and uncle are in the building industry, and my interest grew after going out with them and seeing what happened. I also saw the potential to work and possibly progress to other things such as site management.

“I was fortunate enough to be given a great opportunity with Salix Homes and Emanuel Whittaker to do an apprenticeship which I really enjoy – working and being taught at the same time.  I would encourage anyone who is given a similar opportunity to take it up.”

To find out more about the apprenticeship opportunities available with Salix Homes contact Jackie Crook on 0161 779 8966 or email The deadline for applications is Sunday, 24 September.

The Sky’s the Limit for Rachel

Mar 18, 2016

In our final blog in support of National Apprenticeship Week, we celebrate the achievements of young people who have moved away from the traditional roles to meet the construction demands of the future…

Meet Rachel Howard from Salford

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAApprentice - Rachel Howarth








I completed my plastering apprenticeship and then was keen to take advantage of a new qualification which was developed by North West regeneration consortium, Procure Plus, and partners. I am really pleased to be the first person in the UK to achieve an NVQ Level 3 in External Wall Insulation at Salford City College’s City Skills Sixth Form Centre.

Like many people I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I left school but I had 10 GCSEs and so could have gone on to do quite a lot.  I have a big family and was used to looking after kids and so I went to college to study childcare.  I qualified and got a job but I hated it.

I absolutely loved doing my apprenticeship and get a real sense of satisfaction once a job is done and you see your lovely render on the outside of a building.

People think all apprenticeships are just for school leavers but there is funding available for older people and I don’t think you are ever too old to change direction or learn a new skill.

It was definitely the best move I ever made. Now I have a trade and I am confident my skills will always be in demand.

An apprenticeship worked for me

Mar 17, 2016

Emanuel Whitaker have been supporting apprenticeships for it’s entire 179 history, so we know the benefits that apprenticeships bring to our company.

This week we’re supporting National Apprenticeship Week and taking the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of some of our apprentices.

Meet Danny Bosher from Oldham.

Bosher, DannyI now have a great skill and a full time job as a joiner thanks to my apprenticeship.

People think that the only people who do apprentices are those who didn’t do well at school but I did really well and got all my GCSEs – but I had just had enough of education and wanted to get to work as soon as I could.

I knew that I wanted to work in construction as the idea of working in an office was not my idea of fun.

If like me, you don’t like sitting in a classroom then try to get an apprenticeship because you can learn but you are actually doing the job while you are learning. Its miles better than just reading about something.  I know I pick up things much quicker by doing something.  You even get paid to learn as an apprentice which as far as I am concerned is a massive bonus to the scheme.

An apprenticeship worked for me because I get to work on different sites and do all kinds of different jobs.  Emanuel Whittaker does a lot of refurbishment work and my favourite thing is putting in new kitchens for people.  It’s really interesting and the people you are doing the work for are really nice and are dead chuffed at the end of it when they see their new kitchen.

Loads of my mates are unemployed and have been for ages and I was looking for a job myself for ages and so I know how lucky I am to have done an apprenticeship.  Now I have a qualification that will last a lifetime, a good job and no student debt.

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