Our success is music to Alan’s ears

Our apprentices know him as their dynamic Newcastle College, programme lead, but outside of work Alan Bessford loves nothing more than attending music festivals.

With college out for the summer, Alan spent a month at Reading Festival where he helped with the three day annual production.

His love for music stems from 11 years working in festival and event production. Alan’s favourite live artists include Coldplay, Bastille and Eminem.

Alan stepped into the role of programme lead and lecturer at Newcastle College roofing department two years ago and his fresh approach and enthusiasm has most definitely helped to boost the confidence and skill set of our apprentices.

Alan said: “Hodgson Sayers stands out a mile. I am delighted that David Crank and Jordan Condren have made the WorldSkills 2019 team and Brad Hayes has been selected as first reserve. This is a fantastic achievement.

“The trio will travel down to Birmingham for the three day event in November. This follows their success on the world stage last year with Jordan scooping silver and David bronze. I believe they have what it takes to scoop gold and silver. In what order I don’t know but both have the ability to win the event.

“So what is it that fuels the success of the apprentices? They are the future of the company and the management team and contract managers are right behind them. That is what makes them so successful, the company is invested in them and as individuals they want to succeed.

“This makes a big difference. If you don’t have support and encouragement why would you want to push yourself?

“When you see Hodgson Sayers’ apprentices compete you can see what they have learnt and how proud they are of their achievements. There is also that underlying competitive edge amongst them, they want to win and are competitive with each other and that desire drives them on.

“What also sets them apart is that the company is not afraid to place its apprentices on live projects. They are closely supervised but this early exposure to real projects builds confidence. Unless you get real life experience and can run with it you won’t get a proper feel for the trade.

“As a programme lead it is fantastic that I am able to really support a group of highly talented young people. Between the apprentices, management team and myself, it has been a real collaborative approach.”