Dale Bickford – Training Manager

What attracted you to work for Ascent?

It was the job role and location at RNAS Culdrose that attracted me first. I left my previous job so that I could spend more time with my children as they entered their last few years of childhood and became young adults. I needed a job that would allow me to do that, but I was also keen to stay within an aviation-based role to use some of the skills I had learnt after a 22-year career within aviation in the Royal Navy, which included being an Aircrew Instructor.

While job hunting, most of the aviation-based roles would have taken me out of my home area again, in fact many were at completely opposite ends of the UK, or in different countries altogether! So, when the vacancy at Ascent came up it suited me well – it allowed me to be involved in aviation and kept me local and near to my children. This has enabled me to spend some much-needed quality time with them and have a much better work/life balance than I had before.

What does your role as Training Manager entail?

As well as being line manager of a team of five, I am responsible for training delivery, management, and reporting on our specific site. This involves liaison with multiple outside agencies. as well as site personnel (including instructor, commercial, operations and engineering SMEs) to make sure that every individual trainee is given the right training package, in a safe and timely manner, to ensure that we deliver the very best training and experience.

I report on current progress and forecast future progress to ensure all relevant stakeholders are kept informed, making sure that I highlight any potential problems as early as I can. This allows either local or higher management to make informed decisions in good time, so that we can continue to meet the customer’s needs.

What do you enjoy most about working for Ascent?

The people. I work with a fantastic team on site, which is well supported by the wider company. There is always help available when we need it, and nothing is ever too much trouble, even when asking something of someone who you’ve never met before. I like the responsiveness, the work ethic, the camaraderie, and the banter, because that makes for a good, fun working environment.

What are the benefits of working for Ascent?

As mentioned, the role and location suit me well and while my role does come with a competitive salary and a generous benefits package, there is also a huge sense of belonging. I have been through some family and health problems and the support I was given by my peers and the wider company has been second to none, and I know of several others who have experienced similar, so it wasn’t just a one off. This has made me feel wanted, welcomed, and included and so in terms of benefits, Ascent being a company that makes me feel valued is a highlight. Knowing that the company will support me through the difficult times really does help on a day-to-day basis.

Would you recommend working for Ascent?

I would recommend working for Ascent and I often do. The salary, the varied role, the people I work with, the location, the generous benefits package and the supportive, inclusive company ethic, all play a part in that.