Building Student Apprenticeship is Open

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment

A partnership between the university and a major regional contractor is helping construction students build themselves a better future – here’s how. 

The University of Salford works tirelessly to ensure its students realise their full potential. One of the many ways this is achieved is by working alongside companies to develop apprenticeship programmes that help jump-start careers. The ‘Building Student’ programme from Manchester-based main contractor Russell WBHO is one of these schemes.

Russell WBHO, a £140m main contractor formerly known as Russells Construction, has developed a successful and established partnership with the University of Salford to deliver a degree-apprenticeship programme, which offers local young people the chance to train for a successful career in construction and study for a fully-funded degree at the same time.  

The degree apprenticeship allows students to combine academic study with on-the-job training, where they bring together the best of higher and vocational education. Apprentices get the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with experienced professionals, with a dedicated mentor providing practical and pastoral support, while earning a salary and studying for their degree.

After two years experiencing different aspects of construction within different departments, such as project management, engineering, quantity surveying, and estimating, they will choose a specialism and, following their successful completion of the course, go on to secure a full-time position. Through this carefully designed programme, employers are able to develop the next generation of their workforce to help build a better future for us all. 

Abbie Norton is one of the students who have benefitted from this scheme. She is currently employed full-time with Russell WBHO and has completed her third year of a five-year quantity surveying degree apprenticeship at the University of Salford. Abbie says she cannot speak highly enough of the Building Student scheme. 

Abbie said: “I joined Russells aged 18 and I’m now three years into my apprenticeship at the University of Salford. I absolutely love it! Some of my friends have gone down the traditional university route, which is right for them, but I know that this is right for me. 

“It’s hard work and challenging as you’re juggling work with study, but I know that it will be worth it in the end, and I’m so grateful to Russells for providing me with this amazing opportunity.”

Russell WBHO recruits from local schools and colleges and takes on around six students each year, putting them through either a quantity surveying or construction management degree apprenticeship with the University of Salford. There are currently 22 degree apprentices on the programme, and the firm has ambitions to double this over the next five years.

Adele Lochman, Apprenticeships Operations Manager at the University of Salford, said: “Russell WBHO is the perfect example of an employer committed to supporting young people to achieve and excel in their chosen career via the degree-apprenticeship route.

“Their team has developed and refined a well-planned training scheme, allowing apprentices to apply theory to the workplace while working alongside industry experts within the organisation. They are dedicated to the development of their staff and to ensuring young people have the opportunity to gain real word experience from day one while studying for their degree.”

Applications for the Russell WBHO 2021 Building Student Programme open in October 2020, with successful applicants commencing employment the following year in August 2021. Candidates applying for the programme must meet the requirements for the accompanying University of Salford degree course.

For more information on the programme, email: BuildingStudents2021@RussellWBHO.co.uk 

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.