Paul James, Hodgson SayersPaul James, an apprentice at building and roofing specialist, Hodgson Sayers, has shown he is a cut above the rest having competed in the final of a national competition.

Paul travelled to Birmingham to represent the North East in the SkillBuild, Slating Roofing and Tiling competition, run by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors.

The event aims to promote excellence amongst the UK’s young crafts people and is a way of showcasing their talent.

The Stanley-based company is committed to developing young talent and took on nine new apprentices in 2014.

Paul, said: “I have been at the company for two years now and I am really enjoying my apprenticeship. It’s great that I have the opportunity to take part in competitions as it is a way for me to monitor my skillset and see how I compare amongst other people at my level.

“In 2013, I represented the north of England having made the regional heat of the Construction Industry Training Build (CITB) SkillBuild event.

“I also competed again last year at another SkillBuild heat in Newcastle. So, I was thrilled to find out I had been selected to compete in the national finals.

“It was a nerve wracking experience as we were given a drawing and tasked to re-create it by marking, cutting and installing the design. We were scored on our neatness and consistency. Although I was not crowned the overall winner, it was a fantastic experience for me to compete in my first national final against the UK’s best.”

Managing Director at Hodgson Sayers, John Sayers, said: “We are all very proud of what Paul has achieved. He is a role model for our younger apprentices who can look up to him and learn from his determination to succeed.

“Paul is currently in the final year of his NVQ level 2 apprenticeship in Roof Slating and Tiling where he learns the theoretical side of the job at Newcastle College.

“We are looking forward to welcoming him to the team when his apprenticeship ends as a full-time employee and know he has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Established in 1979, as Hodgson & Allon, the company began primarily as a roofing contractor. Over the years it has developed and diversified considerably to include building works, fencing and metalwork fabrication.

Its ISO 9001 accredited operations are reflected in the consistently high standards of delivery, presentation and all processes.