Builders and contractors take the lead as industry role models

In the face of crippling skills shortages across the construction industry, builders and contractors are increasingly taking a lead to inspire the next generation, with higher numbers than ever before in the running for the UK Construction Week (UKCW) Role Model of the Year awards. 

Out of a total shortlist of 102 people from across all sectors of construction, dozens of builders and contractors have been chosen as role models for the industry and are the most entered professions alongside engineers and architects. All will go forward to the final of awards scheme at this year’s UK Construction Week event at 3pm on 6 October. 

Among them are Samantha Gillingham, site manager at Vistry Group; Pamela Evans, company director at Evans Excavation Ltd; Nicola Hodson, standards advisor at Wates group; Lorraine Luck, head of procurement at Balfour Beatty HPC Marine Works; Louise Flatman, assistant risk manager (sustainability) at Mace Group Ltd; Simon Dixon, training Manager and technical officer at the National Federation of Roofing Contractors; Alan Smith, managing director at SPI Piling Ltd, and Mark Norton, managing director at Composite Profiles.  

The UKCW Role Models awards scheme provides both personal and wider community benefit, offering a student and college contact programme, as well as a public platform to professionals of any age and background. It presents a way for them to network, teach, and share inspiring stories and invaluable experiences of how they came into their career, what it entails, their journey so far, and why they love what they do. 

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, said:

“UKCW Role Models are inspiring people who have a strong story to tell and can help to attract others into similar roles. They also act as mentors. Previous years’ Role Models have been out visiting schools and meeting young people to encourage them into construction as a rewarding career.?  

“We’ve had an amazing response for this year’s Role Model initiative, which unfortunately couldn’t go ahead last year due to the pandemic, so we are delighted to have so many enthusiastic and skilled individuals to consider. Each one has been doing exceptional work in all kinds of areas in the sector. All those shortlisted should be truly proud of their achievements and know that they are an inspiration to the next generation.  

“As an ever-evolving industry, there are so many avenues to consider for a great career in construction, and many young people are unaware of just how varied their options are. This initiative goes to show the wide range of opportunities that are available to those looking to come on board. We want to showcase some of the best in the business whilst championing equality, diversity and inclusion in the industry, and we hope that our Role Models and their journeys will motivate others to do the same.” 

UK Construction Week is the first major construction event in two years, taking place at the NEC in Birmingham from 5-7 October. It is completely free to attend. 

UKCW has won two major awards in the last year, scooping the Best Trade Show award from Exhibition News this month and the Best UK Tradeshow award by the Association of Event Organisers in 2020, recognising its innovations, positive delegate experience and sustainable procedures. 

This autumn it is expected to attract more than 20,000 specifiers and buyers with at least 300 exhibitors providing launches, demos and offers on more than 6,000 products. Registrations for this year’s show have been running faster than any previous event. 

Free registration to UK Construction Week is now open:

One entry badge gives access to multiple sections: Build, Modern Methods of Construction, Building Tech, Timber, Civils, Energy and HVAC, and Surface and Materials, as well as Grand Designs Live. 

To get regular updates on the event, including safety protocols and new features, follow UKCW on social media using the hashtag #UKCW2021. 

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