Recognition for construction role model
One of our new homes project managers has been named a role model for her work in encouraging youngsters to consider a career in the construction industry.
Ele George was selected as one of the UK Construction Week 2019 Construction Role Models, alongside chief executive, directors, surveyors, engineers and apprentices. The initiative was designed to take the stories of some of the most inspiring people working in all aspects of construction to motivate others to join them in the industry. Along with all the other shortlisted role models, Ele was invited to UK Construction Week exhibition and conference at the NEC in Birmingham, to speak to young people or share their experiences on one of the show stages.
Ele was shortlisted as a role model for her work with schools where she shares her lifelong enthusiasm in building with pupils.
“I’m really passionate about getting more young people into the industry,” she said. “There is a shortage of people entering the sector, only 12% of the construction industry workforce is female, and there’s also a shortage of people from BME backgrounds, so there’s a lot of work to be done.
“That’s why one of my passions is to expose young people to the idea of a career in construction. Stereotyping, sadly, starts from pre-school age, so I feel it is vital to not only to inspire girls, but also for boys to see that it’s normal for women to work in this industry too.”
UK Construction Week launched its role models campaign last year to encourage young people into the industry who might not have previously considered a career in construction. It’s a passion Ele’s had for more than ten years from when she was working as sustainability manager for the construction of the new Southmead Hospital in Bristol.
“As part of the project I was instrumental in setting up the CITB National Skills Academy for Construction,” Ele said. “We had hundreds of children visit and I realised I got a real buzz out of talking to them and seeing their reactions and hearing them want to get into construction. And I found the confidence to show them what a diverse and exciting industry it is.
“The main reason I give up my time to do this is for that one child that would otherwise not realise it’s something they should consider as a career. I visited one primary school a few years ago and we talked about all aspects of engineering and did various activities, like making a bridge out of lolly sticks. One of the parents contacted me afterwards to say how their daughter couldn’t stop talking about it. She’s in Year 9 now and wants to be an architect, which is amazing.”