Apprenticeship Case Study: Willmott Dixon

Date: 07/03/2018
Author: GMCC
Company: GMCC

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, Greater Manchester Chamber is highlighting companies that have successfully taken on apprentices. 

This case study focuses on Liam Ward and Andy Matishi, who started employment with WMB Ltd as a sub-contractor of Apprentice Share sponsor Willmott Dixon.

Liam and Andy (pictured) completed their Electrics Study Programme at The University of Manchester Construction Academy Skill Centre in Trafford Park. The Study Programme was a classroom based and employment led training and skills course to prepare learners for their future careers as electricians.

Following their successful completion of this course, Andy Matishi and Liam Ward were offered interviews with WMB Ltd for full Level 3 Apprenticeships. They were both successful at interview and started employment with WMB Ltd at The Students Union site at The University of Manchester as a sub-contractor of Willmott Dixon.

Liam said: "I would recommend the Study Programme at The Construction Academy’s Skill Centre in Trafford Park. We were introduced to some basic skills needed to be electricians and used new tools. I am looking forward to when we start attending day release training during our Apprenticeships. We will learn more experience and skills."

Andy said: "WMB Ltd have been great with us. They have let us fit sockets. Bending containment is also something new we have been doing with WMB. Doing this skilled work has been new and I have enjoyed it. WMB have treated us like full time staff and we have been given the responsibility to apply ourselves at work. I would recommend WMB Ltd as an employer due to the staff and people that work there. I would recommend Apprenticeships as well because it’s a practical way to get qualified."

Willmott Dixon

Willmott Dixon is a privately owned construction and fit-out specialist. Through its construction business it delivers non-residential projects. This includes building projects in education, leisure and culture, hotels, offices, custodial, health, retail, and national frameworks for Government and local authorities.

Willmott Dixon is one of the largest privately-owned construction housing and property companies in the UK - with an annual turnover of £1 billion and employing over 3,300 people across the country.

A spokesman for Willmott Dixon said: "Adding social value is embedded in the way we carry out our business, it is something that we have been doing ever since the company began in 1852 – long before the term ‘social value’.

"Giving back to society and communities is important to us, not only do we believe it’s the right thing to do, but the business case is also proven - we can provide 'more for less' for our clients, which in turn helps us win more work from both existing and new clients. However we know that the benefit to our business doesn’t stop there - we attract a better calibre of job applicant, keen to work for an ethical company; our employees learn valuable communication and leadership skills through their community work; and we have increasing evidence to suggest a strong link between our community investment work and our excellent record on employee engagement.We believe that it’s a win-win."


Based in Salford, WMB has provided electrical engineering and contracting services to the commercial, industrial, health and educational sectors throughout the North West since 1982.

WMB (Installations) undertake a range of electrical installations in values ranging from £100 – £1 million within the commercial, industrial, educational and health sectors. Our experience covers both short term and long term contracts and our engineers have an in-depth knowledge of a wide variety of installations.

WMB ensures every project is completed on time, within budget and is of the highest quality. The company believes that the hands on approach from its Project Managers and its highly experienced and qualified team of operatives provide a service that is second to none.

WMB has secured numerous frameworks over many years including Universities, NHS Consortiums, Councils and Industrial.

Steven Dearden Director of WMB Ltd: "Our approach uses the skills, knowledge and enthusiasm of our employees to provide greater community benefit than donations alone could provide.

"Through  the commitment of our Community Engagement Team and Project teams, we deliver bespoke Community Investment strategies on all our projects with an additional focus  on three programme threads: youth unemployment and inspiring young people, community transformation and social exclusion

"Providing opportunities via our Supply Chain Partners has not only supported Liam  and Andy,  but also our supply chain in offering, promoting and developing Apprenticeship opportunities locally and supporting the Sector with their future workforce."