Contact Us
Talk to us about your next project here.
Back To News
Back To News

2021 Building Students start work

Four new trainees have started their new roles with Manchester main contractor Russell WBHO.

The company behind some of the city’s most recognisable builds has welcomed its latest cohort of professional apprentices onto the award-winning five-year programme.

The trainees, all age 18 and from the local area, will undertake a part-time degree at the University of Salford while working full time as a Russell WBHO employee. Over the first two years of the programme they will sample different areas of the business to experience the various roles on offer, before they specialise in quantity surveying, engineering or project management.

This year’s cohort comprises Tom Wong from Middleton, Elizabeth Tracey from St Helens, Grace Quinn from Timperley, and Alfie-Jack Lutley from Stockport.  They join a further 22 Building Students, at different stages of their training, all of whom are looking forward to graduating and continuing their careers with the business.

The scheme is part of the governments’ Professional Apprenticeship scheme and has a strong reputation within the industry, with Russell WBHO named Best Large Employer at the University of Salford Apprenticeship Awards in 2020. Graduates of the programme hold key positions throughout the company and act as mentors for the new recruits.

The success of the scheme is integral to the company’s growth and succession planning, says joint managing director Gareth Russell. He said: “We want to extend a very warm welcome to our new Building Students and hope they have a very enjoyable and productive experience.

“We value the opportunity to bring through the construction professionals of the future, ensuring they acquire the right knowledge, work ethic and ethos to succeed in their chosen field and support our business as it continues to grow.”

Some of the live projects the Russell WBHO Building Students are involved with include the 32-storey Oxygen Towers, Clayton Hotel and 3 St Peter’s Square in Manchester, the Municipal Buildings hotel scheme in Liverpool, and Lineage Logistics’ expansion programme in Peterborough.

  • Date:
    15th Sep 2021
  • Category:

Tom Wong

18 from Middleton


School / College:
Cardinal Langley High School & Sixth Form

Why construction:
I am fascinated by the construction process. There’s satisfaction to be gained from being involved in a construction project through every stage, watching it develop from just an idea or set of plans into a real tangible building.
I also believe the industry offers variety, where working on a range of different projects and facing new challenges every day keeps things fresh and exciting.

Why Russell WBHO:
I did my research and liked what I found about Russells being a people-focused company that genuinely cares about its employees and prides itself on quality and client satisfaction. I thought it would be somewhere that I could be proud of working and representing and, so far since joining, this has all proved to be true.
Also, the Building Student Programme itself attracted me with its opportunity to gain valuable experience in different key departments of the business before pursuing a specialism. This seemed like a great chance to build a much broader scope of experience in the construction industry.

What are you looking forward to: I am most looking forward to getting an insight into all of the different processes, from each of the different departments, that go into completing a construction project to the high standards which Russells holds.
Along the way, I am also looking forward to gaining more and more responsibilities, which each pose their own set of challenges.

What do you enjoy outside work:
I like to play and watch cricket and football, going to concerts and festivals, and I enjoy visiting new and interesting places. Sometimes I also take my camera along with me and do some photography.

Lizzie Tracey

18 from St Helens


School / College:
De La Salle

Why construction:
As a female I’m aware it can be a little daunting to come into the construction industry but it’s in the family – my grandad was a builder, and my dad and brother are both in the construction industry – and this inspired me to go into the industry myself.

Why Russell WBHO:
I like the core values of Russell WBHO and the company does feel like one big family. It is a very successful company and one that I would love to thrive in.

What are you looking forward to:
I am looking forward to what I’ll be learning on the different rotations and expanding my knowledge in the construction industry. I am also looking forward to starting university alongside working, and securing my degree.

What do you enjoy outside work:
In my spare time I like to play netball, enjoy making dresses and walk my dog Humphrey daily. I also love to travel and see different cities and experience other cultures.

Grace Quinn

18 from Timperley


School / college:
Loreto Grammar School

Why construction:
I’ve always been interested in the architecture of buildings, but didn’t want to be an architect. After talking to family members who are quantity surveyors, I realised that was a better path for me and decided it is something I wanted to learn more about.

Why Russell WBHO:
The reputation of its Building Student programme is second to none and something I really wanted to be a part of.

What are you looking forward to:
Learning all the components that make a great QS enabling me to succeed and go as far as possible in this industry.

What do you enjoy outside work? I like to go horse riding and going to yoga, and have a season ticket with my sister at United so I enjoy going there. I love travelling, in particular visiting my siblings who all live in different countries.

Alfie Lutley

18 from Stockport


School / College:
Stockport Academy and Aquinas College.

Why construction:
My dad is a cabinet maker and over the years I’ve helped him with numerous things on his sites and have become more and more interested in doing  something within the sector.
My mum also works in the industry for a major chartered surveying practice. During the summer holiday between high school and college I worked there, learning about that side of surveying. Combining these experiences, I decided I wanted to go into construction.

Why Russell WBHO:
I heard about Russell WBHO through a relative who has worked for the company as a subcontractor. After discussing my interest in construction with my dad, he recommended I apply for the Building Student Programme and thankfully I was accepted!

What are you looking forward to:
I’ve already learnt a lot of new things that I don’t think I would have if I wasn’t on the Building Student Programme. I have been on two sites already and now getting to grips with health and safety, and this is all before University even started.
I am very much looking forward to visiting more sites, continuing through all rotations to expand my knowledge and meeting more and more people along the way, not to mention becoming specialised in a specific role. 

What do you enjoy outside work:
I’m a massive Manchester United fan, I also play for a six-a-side team with friends. I love going to the gym, watching movies and absolutely love cars and Formula 1 racing and dream of one day owning a 1969 Ford Mustang.