18-year-old, Kieran Forster is one of a long line of apprentices nurtured by Hodgson Sayers to become a stand-out success story on the national stage.
As a first year apprentice studying flat roofing at Newcastle College, Kieran has been crowned the Icopal flat roofing apprentice of the year 2018. This is recognised as the premier awards competition in the UK and is a tremendous accolade for both Kieran and the company.
It was all the more impressive as he was competing against second year students and apprentices from across the UK.
Kieran was not the only Hodgson Sayers representative in the competition, joining him in the national final were flat roofing apprentices, Ross Adams, Joe Gladstone and Oliver Drew and slating and tiling apprentice, Jordan Condren.
They followed in the footsteps of David Crank who reached the national final in 2017. David has gone on to achieve great success as the regional SkillBuild champion, representing Hodgson Sayers and Newcastle College in the slating and tiling category, held in April this year.
The Icopal competition rewards the talents of roofing apprentices, who have a desire to run their own business, by giving them a platform to convince a panel of judges why they were most likely to succeed.
Twenty finalists from colleges across the UK attended the two-day final held in Gloucestershire in June to apply their skills – both mentally and physically.
Kieran Forster, said: “I am seven months into my apprenticeship with Hodgson Sayers and when I was announced as the Apprentice of the Year I was shocked! I could not have done it without the support of the company as it encourages all apprentices to take part in competitions that not only enhance our skills but broaden our focus.
“I was able to network and have kept in contact with the other apprentices from colleges across the UK and I will be keen to find out how they are progressing in their careers.
“I was praised by the judges for my confidence, ability and communication skills and how I presented myself to them.
“I took part in an individual and group presentation. My main motivation to do well and my inspiration, is my mother. I know how hard she has had to work and I want to push myself to become a better me.
“Hodgson Sayers has helped to transform my career path and I have reaped the rewards of having the support and guidance from my mentor, skilled flat roofer, Steven Jones, who I have worked alongside for the last seven months.
“Having a mentor has increased my confidence and filled gaps in my knowledge and you quickly form a team bond.
“It was a very proud moment to be handed the trophy and it was so pleasing to bring it with me back to the North East.”
John Sayers, managing director at Hodgson Sayers, said: “We would like to congratulate Kieran on his tremendous achievement. Having only been an apprentice for seven months, to have the confidence to stand up in front of his peers and the judges and to walk away the winner is a true credit to his determination.
“Our five apprentices who took part in the competition were up against 100 initial candidates who applied to take part – this outlined the depth of the talent that we have not just in the company but the region.
“Apprentices are the future, they must be nurtured and their skills progressed correctly. We provide the opportunities for them to work independently on projects when we feel they are ready to step up to the next level.
“Upon completion of their placement, all apprentices are offered full-time employment at the company. We have a very loyal team many of whom began their careers at the company and are now passing their skills down to the youngsters – it is vital this continues and that the right people are being trained.
“Kieran may not have won the world cup, but his arrival back to Stanley was nothing short of a heroic celebration. “