Celebrating our 20-year company anniversary this year, we want to introduce you to some of the people behind the business – to find out more about them, their role and their thoughts on our business journey so far.

Next up in our series is Neal Daniels, our Trainer for the Southern region, who has not only held a number of different roles within Alpha Training, but also works in the sister businesses Rescue 2 and Face Fit Testing UK.

Please tell us about your role at Alpha and how long you have worked there

I actually started working for Rescue 2 as a full-time Rescue Technician, and that was six years ago. I also looked after the equipment, vehicles and utilities at our Head Office in West Sussex and became the Equipment Lead whilst continuing my Rescue Tech work.

Having always been interested in the training side of things I started assisting trainers on courses. At the same time, we set up Face Fit Testing UK so I got that all up and running and started carrying out face fit tests across the country – which I still do now.

I moved across into training after completing my training qualifications, initially just confined space training and since then I’ve also trained in First Aid, Abrasive Wheels, Manual Handling, Fire Awareness and Working at Height over the last couple of years. The training is now my focus, although I still work with Rescue 2 as a Team leader Rescue Tech and still do face fit tests around the country. My remit also includes bespoke course development and generally improving the learner experience – so as you can see, my working weeks are really varied. I always say, if I had to create my ideal job – I’m already doing it. I genuinely love it and I’m hugely loyal to the company.

What was your professional background prior to working at Alpha?

I have quite a varied professional background. Having left school without qualifications I kind of fell into the car industry, setting up and running my own garage for 25 years. I wasn’t particularly enjoying it so when that came to an end I was looking to move industries. I was already working as a retained fire fighter so moved into the Fire Services whole time. Overall, I spent six years in the Fire Services based at stations in Arundel and Crawley.

Despite having worked in Fire Services I never really knew about Confined Spaces as a commercial business, but I absolutely love the industries we work in. Even just Confined Space is such a vast topic, so I have spent a lot of time researching and learning more about the different parts of it. I regularly spend my weekends and evenings researching a particular aspect, much to the delight of my wife.

What do you enjoy the most about working at Alpha?

I am hugely grateful for the opportunity and support that Shaun Jackaman (Managing Director) and the team have given me. I love the variety of my job and being given the chance to be involved at all levels, to improve things and play an active part in the development of the company and the way we deliver our training. It’s a lovely place to work and it’s great that I still get consulted on a wide range of queries – from Rescue 2 jobs and Face Fit enquiries through to new equipment and improvements to the Training Yard, it feels like my opinion is valued.

What’s your proudest professional achievement during your time at Alpha?

For me, it’s the personal journey I’ve been on – from leaving school without any GCSE’s to passing all my training qualifications, and now being able to share my knowledge and experience with others, is something I’m really proud of. In particular, my Assessor qualification and passing all the written exams that were part of it.

I can really identify with some of our delegates who perhaps haven’t had the best education but really want to learn about confined space. I’ve been told that I’m good at simplifying legislation and regulations so that everyone understands what they actually mean, and how they affect their everyday working lives.

Believe it or not, I’m not the most confident speaker so the thought of delivering training in front of a group of people used to fill me with dread, so I’ve definitely grown with my challenges. I think the fact that I am genuinely passionate about what I’m talking about really helps!

In the six years I’ve been here, I’ve really seen the company change from a small family business to a much bigger operation with more staff and the necessary processes and procedures that you need to run a growing business.

What do you think sets Alpha apart from other training companies?

I would say that it’s the passion that comes from the top and filters down to the trainers and team who work here. Delivering the best learner experience is hands down the key driving force and that is evident at all levels. We’re just the right size for that passion not to get lost, plus we can be agile and dynamic when it comes to driving change and improvements.

We work really hard to make it a nice environment for our delegates to be in.

Neal Daniels headshot

 

You can find out more about our story and the other members of the team here.