RBH apprentices doing it for themselves!

We are proud to show our strong commitment to supporting women into trade apprenticeships, providing an opportunity to develop skills and carve out a career in a traditionally male sector. As an area of the business in which women are underrepresented, we’re thrilled that this year three of our female apprentices have successfully completed trade qualifications with us and are now progressing further in their careers with RBH.

Sarah Wilkinson, apprentice joiner, joined RBH in 2017 having completed a part-time Level 1 joinery qualification at Hopwood Hall College, fitting her college work in around work and family commitments. From the start, Sarah’s determination and natural ability in her chosen trade helped her successfully complete placements across three different teams during her two year apprenticeship. We were thrilled when Sarah’s hard work and commitment to the wider apprenticeship programme were recognised when she received the RBH Trade Apprentice of the Year Award 2020 and the Hopwood Hall College’s Most Promising Apprentice Award during her time on programme.

The opportunity to complete an apprenticeship with RBH, combining work with study, has allowed Sarah to support her family and train at the same time.

Since completing her Level 2 joinery qualification, Sarah has gone on to secure a permanent role with the Responsive Repairs team, helping us to maintain and repair our rental homes whilst delivering excellent customer service to tenants across Rochdale borough. We’re sure Sarah will be a huge asset to the Responsive Repairs team and wish her every success in the future.

I’ve learnt so much on my apprenticeship, it’s given me the opportunity to have a career doing something I love working with great people. I’ve had so much support from my employer and colleagues throughout. I’d really recommend it to anyone wanting to further themselves.

Sarah Wilkinson RBH Joiner

Julie Nelson, our plumbing apprentice, has also made a big impact since joining RBH. Julie decided to take the plunge and apply for an RBH apprenticeship on the advice of her tutor at Hopwood Hall, where she’d been studying plumbing part time the previous year.

Keen to develop the skills which would allow her to forge a career in her own right, Julie has worked steadily through her apprenticeship, achieving her Level 2 qualification ahead of schedule. Julie got the opportunity to build up experience working across all our repairs teams and even worked independently on a scheduled works project, before securing a permanent role as a plumber in our Responsive Repairs team in April this year.

I’d already had a taste of plumbing by doing a L1 course at Hopwood Hall, so had an idea what the job would involve. But being able to be paid the Real Living Wage, not just the standard apprenticeship salary, made all the difference. Being able to train at the same time as working was the answer for me.

Julie Nelson RBH Plumber

Our second year joinery apprentice, Nicole Byrne, who joined RBH in 2018, recently successfully completed her Level 2 joinery qualification and will shortly be embarking on her Level 3 joinery and carpentry qualification. Prior to joining RBH, Nicole had worked in a number of roles, most recently in retail and brought her strong customer service skills and positive outlook to bear on her apprenticeship.

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, Nicole has worked hard and is looking forward to completing the final stage of her apprenticeship over the coming year.

A strong advocate for female apprentices, she’s attended school, college and community events to promote our apprenticeship programme and is keen to encourage other young women to consider the trades as a career.

Two years ago I would never have imagined that I’d be rolling my sleeves up and doing a physical outdoor job. Being a female trade apprentice doesn’t mean you can’t do the other stuff as well, it means you can do both. I’ve learnt and achieved so much I’m proud of on this programme and am really looking to moving up and finishing my level three qualification next year.

Nicole Byrne RBH Apprentice Joiner

We will be recruiting to business apprenticeship roles in autumn 2020 and trade apprenticeship roles in late spring or early summer 2021.

For regular updates please visit our Work and Skills webpage or sign up to our RBH Work and Skills Bulletin.

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