In 2015, the Stanley-based company, won the apprenticeship category in the North East Business Awards and in the national final went on to claim both the people development award and company of the year at the British Chamber of Commerce Awards.

The company – which in 2015 also won the Constructing Excellence national business of the year – has welcomed eight new starters, each of whom will embark on an apprenticeship in either slating and tiling or flat roofing at Newcastle College.

Hodgson Sayers is committed to nurturing and developing the next generation of its team so that they remain long term employees. Indeed, many of its current staff began their careers as apprentices at the company including managing director, John Sayers and a number of the senior contract managers. With this new intake the company will now have a total of 22 apprentices who are at various stages of their training.

Such is the importance of developing the younger generation that apprentices represent 10% of the company’s workforce and the starters will each pursue a three-year course, learning skills in their designated fields.

The apprentices, aged between 16 and 30, include, 16-year-olds, Ben Seaward and Brandon Walsh from Stanley and Brad Hayes from Hetton-le-Hole.

17-year-old, Jack Crawford is from Lemington, 18-year-olds, Jordon Condren, Westerhope, Ross Adams, Gateshead and 19-year-old, Joe Gladstone from Stanley. 30-year-old Brian Thompson also from Stanley, is currently employed by Hodgson Sayers as a skilled labourer and is furthering his career by undertaking a flat roofing apprenticeship.

John Sayers, managing director, said: “Each of the apprentices was appointed because we identified an eagnerness and hunger within them to learn new skills. None more so than Brian Thompson, having been at the company for four years he approached me with a request to take up an apprenticeship.

“Brian’s determination to learn a new trade going from a skilled labourer to become a flat roofer shows that apprenticeships can take place at any age and there is always an opportunity to develop.

“I began my career as an apprentice as did the majority of the team, many of whom are still working at the company. As such, all our new starters are assigned mentors when they join and we appoint our apprentices all at the same time so they have the chance to work together, learn from each other and push forward together. They have all the ingredients to succeed and upon completion of their apprenticeship are guaranteed a job at the company.

“We have signed all our new apprentices up to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) as it is important that we each play our part in supporting North East training bodies and to ensure that they receive the best training.”

Apprentice, Brian Thompson, said: “I had given a lot of thought about my career options and how to better myself. I spoke to John Sayers who encouraged me to undertake an apprenticeship in flat roofing.

“It has proved that you can change career paths at any time of your life, you need determination and the right people around you to do this. Hodgson Sayers has provided me with this opportunity and that is why so many apprentices continue their career journey with the company. Loyalty is rewarded.”