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.

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