Mentors make their Mark

Mark Cooper explains how mentors have played a vital role in building his confidence and personal development

As I approach my fourth year working as a production supervisor in the metalwork department, it is timely to reflect upon the skills I have honed whilst working at Hodgson Sayers. My responsibilities are ever-increasing and as I look to my future within the company, I believe with hard work and determination, I will continue to excel and be an asset.

It was actually a twist of fate that led me to pursuing my trade. I was looking for an apprenticeship for when I left school but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. My initial plan had been to pursue a career as a joiner but none of the local joinery companies were taking on apprentices at the time. Thankfully, one of my school teachers recommended me to the owner of the company I worked for prior to my employ at Hodgson Sayers. I was offered an apprenticeship in metal fabrication and welding and the rest, as they say, is history!

Hodgson Sayers has provided me with excellent opportunities for personal and professional growth. Working closely with a small team of reliable colleagues, providing a friendly and supportive environment, has meant that even in the busiest of times I have been able to focus on the task at hand and meet every target set.

I truly believe that what sets Hodgson Sayers apart, is the time it invests in its employee’s self-development and the opportunities for progression within the company. Whether this be apprentices who are new to the trade or, people such as myself who already have experience. I have been fortunate to have two mentors at Hodgson Sayers, one of whom is my manager Mark English. He has helped me develop immeasurably within my job role and he always takes the time to support me, regardless of how busy he is. Thanks to Mark, I have improved my planning of jobs and gained a better understanding of the engineering/manufacturing side of the industry he has progressed through.

Nigel Deans, transport and material procurement manager, has been an invaluable source of knowledge for me. Not only has he helped me understand and better my skill set, he has taken the time to provide me with a detailed insight as to how he runs his department.

In the future, I would very much like to mentor some of our up-and-coming apprentices, something I have done at my previous company. Whilst it is no easy feat, I know I would once again enjoy the challenge. Having learnt so much during my time at Hodgson Sayers and enjoying the benefit of my own mentors, I feel that when the time is right, I will be able to pass on my knowledge to others.

There have been many highlights during my time at the company but I would say the thing I am most proud of is the part I played in transforming the metalwork department in to what it is today. Our team truly is incredible and it is a pleasure to work alongside such talented individuals.

As has been the case for a lot of people, Covid has had a huge impact on my work life. I have been drafted in to assist in the stores on a morning and night, due to changes that have been made within the company because of the virus. Whilst it has been challenging to manage my work load, it has been a good learning curve and I have learnt a lot from people across all levels of the business.