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Huge increase of inspirational role models in construction

Arleta Andreasik-Paton, last year's UK Construction Week Role Model of the Year.

Nominations for the annual UK Construction Week (UKCW) role models initiative have quadrupled since last year.

Dozens of engineers were among the entrants this spring, attracted to a scheme which provides a schools contact programme and public platform to professionals of any age and background to share inspiring stories of how they came into their career and why they love what they do.

UKCW has chosen 98 role models out of hundreds of entries for its 2019 shortlist, including people from all professions and at all levels.

The shortlisted role models include people at chief executive, director and associate director level, but also many more junior representatives who have made a huge impact at the very start of their careers. They include architects, engineers, construction project managers, site managers, quantity surveyors, a wide range of sustainability, health and safety and geotechnical experts, tradespeople and professionals focused on digital construction, administration, finance, HR, learning and communications.

Last year’s winner, Arleta Andreasik-Paton, a senior project manager at AECOM, said: “I was not from a construction background, but I moved into the industry with transferrable skills. I want to encourage others to do the same. It’s a privilege to be able to become a role model for other talented young people who can find wonderful careers in construction.”

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, said: “The response to this year’s role model initiative has been overwhelming and covers every aspect of construction, from engineering to bricklaying to digital design and management. The role models really show the diverse range of jobs available in construction and they are all passionate about their jobs and promoting construction as a great career opportunity.”

All role models will be given the opportunity to speak at UKCW on the main stage of the UK’s largest construction event and will take part in the UKCW’s student initiative at the NEC between 8-10 October to advise and encourage those considering a career in construction. The overall 2019 Role Model of the Year will then be announced on Wednesday 9 October by the BBC’s Steph McGovern.