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Success for A&F Sprinklers – Winner ‘Apprentice Employer of the Year 2023’

Rochdale Training’s Apprentice Employer, A&F Sprinklers is celebrating having won Apprentice Employer of the Year at this year's Rochdale Business Awards. The Awards were established in 2011 to celebrate and recognise the success and achievements of local businesses and business people within Rochdale.

A&F Sprinklers design, install, and service & maintain automatic fire sprinkler systems nationwide, we operate from Rochdale and provide services 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They partner with a wide range of customers from individual businesses to large corporate enterprises such as Amazon, the Ministry of Defence, Clipper, and many more. Their team is a total of 142 ranging from trainees, designers, project managers, support, and engineers.

Luke Heywood, Previous Apprentice said, “My Apprenticeship course was a 2-year course in Performing Engineering Operations, this Apprenticeship course gained me a full level 2 Apprenticeship qualification, overall the support I have received from Rochdale Training and A&F Sprinklers is fantastic and inspires me to achieve more, keep learning, and develop each day. I couldn’t be more thankful for the company.”

All A&F Apprentices are guided through their development plan process whereby A&F maps their development, progression, and learning, not only through their qualification but includes in-house specific training, & and industry training. Apprentices are given the mantra of ‘every day is a school day’ whereby A&F inspires them to continue and keep learning which is assessed through their round table events.

Dan Clayton, HR Manager from A&F Sprinklers said, “To say we are humbled and proud is an understatement. I genuinely don't think there are many words for the pride we feel at the moment. Just to be nominated was a milestone, then to be a finalist was another but to win Apprentice Employer of the Year, is a massive achievement for the team here. But, everything we do cannot and will not have been achieved and continue to be achieved without the fantastic and second-to-none support from you and everyone at RTA.”

Nathan Finn, Recruitment Officer at Rochdale Training said, “I’ve been working with Dan & A&F Sprinklers for several years, and it’s a pleasure to see their hard work and dedication to Apprenticeships being highlighted.  Congratulations to the whole team at A&F. A&F Sprinklers recruit several Apprentices every year and I would certainly recommend candidates to apply for opportunities when they become available”.


Interested in applying for Apprenticeships? Look through our current apprenticeship vacancies – or contact our Recruitment Team now at 01706 631 417 or

Future Apprenticeship Foundation Success for Harvey

Harvey started with Rochdale Training on the Future Apprenticeship Foundation in February 2023.

The course supported him in getting ready for an Apprenticeship while allowing him to gain valuable work experience in a sector he’s interested in, while also improving his employability skills, English and Maths.

Harvey developed his skills and confidence after a short period and started his work placement with Rochdale Council in the Work and Skills team. His placement employer, Amanda Huntbach from Rochdale Council said “Harvey is a wonderful young man and has a bright future ahead of him. He is always on time, normally early, very reliable and able to follow instructions and undertake tasks with little supervision. He has excellent computer skills, is organised, and can prioritise. He looks very professional and comes across in a polite and professional manner.”

Harvey said “It was a brilliant course. The experience confirmed this was the sector for me and I was eager to apply for administration positions after my work placement. The support from the tutors and the staff is outstanding, everyone at Rochdale Training creates a safe and friendly environment, and I am comfortable here. I have now progressed on to a Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship with Rochdale Training and work as a Technical Support Officer in the Revenue and Benefits department of Rochdale Borough Council.

Being on the Future Apprenticeship Foundation not only allowed me to develop workplace skills but also life skills. I would recommend this course to others who need support and struggling to figure out what to do in life.”

Habiba Khatoon, Work Experience Co-Ordinator from Rochdale Council said “We are pleased we have been able to accommodate the work placement. Harvey was able to spend time working within our organisation before applying for an Apprenticeship role with us. Congratulations Harvey!”

Are you feeling lost and need some help like Harvey? We can help with start dates in January 2024 in both Rochdale and Bury! For more information about our Future Apprenticeship Foundation and Apprenticeships please contact Nathan Finn on 01706 631417 or

Ellie Wins Apprentice of the Year!

Rochdale Training Apprentice, Ellie Burke is celebrating having won Apprentice of the Year at this year's Rochdale Business Awards.

The Awards were established in 2011 to celebrate and recognise the success and achievements of local businesses and business people within Rochdale.

Ellie works at Gateway Leisure supporting people with learning disabilities and now making positive changes to young adults with mental and physical health needs.

Rochdale Training, tutor, Roxanne Sharpe said “Ellie is one of the best Apprentices I have ever met. Ellie has been on a tough journey over the previous 12 months and was introduced to us by the Youth Hub having completed a 12-week course with the Princes Trust team in Rochdale. She has been determined to progress and focused on the future and a career path to help others in the health and social sector. Ellie is the future of this business and sector.

Ellie is progressing rapidly through the Health and Social Care Apprenticeship and is often ahead of her peers, meeting deadlines and producing high-quality assignments for her Apprenticeship. She attends all off-the-job training and records and measures her performance against the key criteria of the apprenticeship. She has remained consistently inquisitive and is not afraid to challenge something or make suggestions to improve something.”

Project Co-ordinator at Gateway Leisure, Lisa Stockton said “Ellie has 100% attendance and punctuality. She represents Gateway well whilst out in the community. She has recently helped to engage service users to participate in some new and ongoing activities – which is doing well. Ellie's confidence has grown a lot in the months she has been with us. She uses her own initiative, helping with tasks i.e., assisting service users with PEG feeds, and helping support people with transport. Ellie is always keen to learn new things, more confident, and willing to take on additional tasks. Ellie is getting on with the online training and does not need reminding to do so.  Ellie is well on track with her qualifications and is meeting deadlines with her work. Ellie demonstrates leadership, and creativity and looks for solutions to problems. Her positive impact on people and the Gateway business over a short period has been outstanding and this is why she is our Apprentice of the Year.”

Charlie Stansfield and Niki Wiehler from Rochdale Youth Hub are proud to have supported Ellie on her journey to Apprentice of the Year. She is an inspiration to other young people and her achievements are amazing, Congratulations Ellie.

Apprenticeships help shape successful lives and build successful businesses across a large and diverse range of sectors. If you would like further information on recruiting an Apprentice, email Mark Whittaker at

Employment Success with NHS Work Academy!

Employment Success with NHS Work Academy!

Rochdale Training is celebrating the success of its Sector Based Work Academy in partnership with the NHS. The course is focussed on becoming part of a customer service/administration team within the NHS, offering excellent customer service to patients with a friendly face, and assisting patients with queries or appointments.

In partnership with, HMR Primary Care and Rochdale Job Centre Plus, the course has supported 30 residents and 13 have moved into full-time employment.

Ruth Parton, Pre-employment lead from HMR Primary Care Academy said: “We choose to run Sector Based Work Academies as it’s a great way to attract new staff to Primary Care and a rewarding career in the NHS. The calibre of learners demonstrates that our selection process for the training is effective. Everyone on our courses has a willingness to learn and it’s a privilege to support people on their career journey.”

All learners were offered an interview and we have had 13 people progress onto employment with HMR Primary Care Academy and have started work in NHS settings around Greater Manchester. In-work training will include the level 2 Customer Service qualification with Rochdale Training.

Kelsey Hardman from Rochdale Job Centre Plus said “One of our main priorities is ensuring we are connecting local people to local jobs. DWP want to ensure that local people have the skills to meet demand and have access to opportunities available through Sector Based Work Academies. This is a fantastic result and it’s great to see so many people moving into employment through our strong partnership with Rochdale Training and HMR Primary Care Academy. We are extremely proud of the results achieved here and the dedication and commitment from the learners have been phenomenal, as well as watching them on this journey with such a rewarding outcome”

Vicky Burgess, Work and Skills Officer at Rochdale Borough Council said: “Working with local training providers who understand local needs and local businesses supports local people to move into local jobs. Working collaboratively brings results. RTA are exactly this and the results are great”

Learners from the Sector Based Work Academy said: “I started a Sector Based Work Academy because of the chance of employment at the end of the course through the interviews set up with local GP surgeries. Rochdale Training has been amazing in helping me get back into work – thank you.” Another learner said “I suffer with zero self-confidence and have struggled to get back into work. On countless occasions, I would get to the interview stage but not get the job. This forced me to reflect and take baby steps in order to become more confident in my approach. When I found out about this job and thought to apply I immediately found there was lots of support and help from the academy staff which reflected positivity and made me believe in myself and my abilities.”

This training has been made possible thanks to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, helping everybody gain skills for life and giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with an employer.

Rochdale Business Awards 2023



On Friday the 3rd of November, Rochdale Training attended the Rochdale Business Awards 2023 and we came out with two enormous wins! We are so proud of our winners and nominees and are grateful to have won.

A huge congratulations to A&F Sprinklers Ltd for winning Apprentice Employer of the Year 2023 at the Rochdale Business Awards! Very well deserved and it is a pleasure to work with you. Well done to Dan and the team!

Massive Congratulations to our learner Ellie Burke from Rochdale Gateway Leisure for winning Apprentice of the Year! You have worked so hard and it is incredibly well deserved, we are all very proud of you. Well Done again Ellie!

Get into teaching and retrain with Rochdale Training

Due to continued growth, Rochdale Training is recruiting tutors with sector skills knowledge and/or several years of hands-on experience who are keen to train young adults and adults.

No formal teacher training qualifications are required, as we’ll provide full training for those with the right experience.

Are you looking to pass on your skills to the next generation?

The successful candidates should have:

  • Occupational competence in a work environment and knowledge in specific sector areas
  • Ability to inspire and engage students to achieve their full potential and a passion for teaching and learning
  • Organised with an ability to work towards challenging targets and manage time effectively
  • 4 and above (A-C) in Maths and English or equivalent
  • ICT Literate

A drop-in information event is being held at Rochdale Training on Thursday 7th March 2024, 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm.

Rochdale Training is looking to recruit the following tutors:

Health and Social Care

Early Years

Functional Skills Maths Tutor 

Fabrication and Welding Instructor

English Functional Skills Tutor 

Hand Fitting/Maintenance Tutor/Assessor 


For more information about these vacancies, contact Vicki Spencer on 01706 631417.


Other job roles we are hiring for:

Employer Skills Advisor


For more information about this vacancy, please contact Mark Whittaker on 01706 631417.



World Skills UK is coming to Rochdale Training this November!

Rochdale Training is hosting this year's World Skills UK competition for the category of Welding.

The UK’s top students and apprentices will be going for gold in Greater Manchester this November after the region was chosen to host the prestigious World Skills UK National Finals. Venues across the region will play host to over 50 finals with 500 competitors from all over the UK competing on 14, 15, 16 and 17 November.

The competitions are a seven-month process including regional heats and intensive training before stepping up to the ultimate test of the National Finals in November. Young people are full of praise for the competitions with the vast majority (97%) of previous entrants saying taking part improved their technical skills and 93% saying they improved their personal and employability skills.

Rochdale Training will have many activities and are keen to hear from Employers and Schools who want to get involved. Our engineering team will have several have-a-go activities for year 10 and 11 school students.

Jill Nagy, Chief Executive of Rochdale Training said “This is a great opportunity for Schools, Apprentices and Employers to get involved in this exciting event. We are thrilled to be chosen to host the event for the category of welding. Good luck to those taking part.”

Events during the week, include:
  • High School Have a Go activities: Wednesday 15th, and Thursday 16th
  • Employer Drop-in: Thursday 16th (11:00 – 13:00)
  • Open Day: Thursday 16th (15:00- 18:30)
  • Rochdale Training Apprentices Vs Finalists: Friday 17th (10:00-13:00)

If you would like to attend or get involved, contact Rochdale Training on 01706 631417 or

World Skills UK

Spring Hill Hospice Ramble Success with Rochdale Training

The team at Rochdale Training has been supporting Spring Hill Hospice with their recent Ramble challenge. The team was challenged to walk three reservoirs, walking 11 km on Saturday 23rd September. image Jill Nagy, Chief Executive at Rochdale Training said “It’s always a great pleasure to support the team at Spring Hill Hospice. Our Apprentices and Employees are always keen to be involved. We look forward to the next challenge.”
image Vicki Barnett, Corporate and Partnerships Fundraiser at Springhill Hospice said “We would like to say a huge thank you to Rochdale Training for sponsoring our Three Reservoir Ramble. Without their generosity and continued support we wouldn’t be able to put on such a fabulous community event.”
Rochdale employee, Caitlyn said “It was a wonderful day and such amazing charity to support, I would happily do it all again. Thank you to everyone who sponsored us, we both raised £200.” image


Rochdale Training, The Home of Apprenticeships and Training for Greater Manchester, has been re-accredited to the Matrix Standard, demonstrating the high-quality Information Advice and Guidance services they provide to learners across Greater Manchester.

Established in 1966, Rochdale Training is a charity that supports learners into employment through Apprenticeships and adult courses including Skills Bootcamps, functional skills, and many more.

Roger Chapman, Head of the Matrix Service said, “This is a fantastic achievement for Rochdale Training, and I would like to congratulate the team on their success. We believe that at the heart of high-quality advice and support services are strong leadership, excellent service and a focus on continuous improvement, all underpinned by effective use of the resources available. The matrix Standard is designed to benchmark organisations against best practices in these areas. With their accreditation success, Rochdale Training is working to provide the best possible support to their clients.”

Highlights from the inspection include

This was an Outstanding assessment – Rochdale Training has a very learner-centric approach.
Significant effort is consistently focused on employer engagement and maintaining effective employer relationships.
Rochdale Training helps grow individuals and not just their skills and knowledge.
All learners see significant improvements in their competencies.
The premises have been enhanced to provide improved accessibility for learners and for those who require specialist support for mental health and wellbeing.
Rochdale Training has forged strong links with Rochdale Youth Hub, Job Centre Plus & Positive Steps.
Learners interviewed confirmed that “the advice and guidance they receive has always been focused on their needs and they did not feel ‘steered’ in any particular direction’’.

Jill Nagy
Commenting on the award, Jill Nagy, Chief Executive of Rochdale Training said: “We are very proud to achieve this recognition with such Outstanding feedback. Learners are at the heart of everything we do and always get an individual approach, high-quality training and of course, friendly, helpful and industry-experienced tutors.”
Matrix Standard



Health and Social Care Recruitment Event

Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Health and Care Recruitment Event

Thursday 20th July 2023 9:00am – 3:00 pm

Middleton Arena Lance Corporal Joel Halliwell VC Way Middleton M24 1AG

Come along to find out more about the wide range of careers that are available in the NHS Health and Care sector. A one stop shop for everything you need to take the next step in a career in the NHS health and social care.

Ideal for anyone:

Interested in pursuing a career in health and social care

Searching for employment opportunities within the sector

Looking to change career from another sector and would like to bring their transferrable skills and qualities within the health and social care sector

Returning to work after a break

Looking for volunteering opportunities

Interested in pre-employment programmes such as CV support, skills training, and interview techniques

Some of the services that will be available on the day to support you are Get Rochdale Working, Job Centre Plus, Primary Care Academy, Rochdale Training, The Princes TRUST and many more!

To attend, please book a ticket to reserve your place at this in person event. You can do this on our Eventbrite page here: