Collaboration is a golden opportunity

A partnership between Newcastle College and building and roofing specialist, Hodgson Sayers, has the potential to be worth its weight in gold.

Hodgson Sayers apprentices, Brad Hayes, Jordan Condren and David Crank have been selected by the college to represent the region in the upcoming Skill Build competition, in May.

Skill Build is the UK’s largest and longest running multi-trade competition and is led by CITB-Construction Skills as part of its commitment to training and excellence.

The apprentices will compete in various UK cities such as Glasgow, Leeds and Bolton as they seek to gain the 100 points needed to qualify for the national final.

College tutor, Alan Bessford, is confident they can compete for gold on the world stage following Jordan and David’s silver and bronze wins, respectively, in 2018, having reached elite status at Worldskills UK.

Hodgson Sayers has formed a strong relationship with Newcastle College, at which its apprentices either study slating and tiling or flat roofing, over a three year period.

Glyn Neasham, regulatory affairs manager, Hodgson Sayers, said: “We have developed a powerful relationship with the college and, in particular, with its programme lead, Alan Bessford, who has been on-hand to provide support and advice to all of our apprentices.

“We see it as essential to the development of our apprentices that they get a blend of our in-house training and the knowledge they learn through studying.”

Newcastle college programme leader, Alan Bessford, said: “It is inspiring to see the innovative approach and problem solving skills of the apprentices on full display when taking part in live competitions. There is a friendly rivalry between the lads which pushes them to go for gold.

“We currently have 63 students across the three apprenticeship levels of roof slating and tiling and are seeing increasing numbers of young people applying for positions.

“Standards within the roofing industry have tightened considerably in recent years, with qualifications being the standard bearer and passport to a great career.

“Increasingly, we are seeing more suppliers and employers engaging with us. The talent at Hodgson Sayers is unbelievable and that is down to the determination of the apprentices, the fact they are paid fairly and have the flexibility to enter competitions and gain as much training as on offer.”

Multi-award winning Hodgson Sayers offers specialist skills in roofing, building works, fencing and metalwork fabrication.

In 2015 the company won the SME award at the Constructing Excellence Awards in London. This was followed by UK Business of the Year and the People Development Award at the British Chambers of Commerce national final. For three consecutive years it was listed in the London Stock Exchange Group 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain. In 2017 it was listed as one of 12 companies from the North East in the Financial Times 1000 Fastest Growing Companies in Europe.