A 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.
Tom 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.”