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Rising Star: Winner

Winner: Jonathan May – Stantec Treatment 

When asked to present on the topic of how to make construction more appealing to future generations, Stantec Treatment graduate engineer Jonathan wowed judges with his grasp of the issue.

Jonathan based his presentation on the premise that millennials want to feel valued, able to create positive change and feel like they have purpose when looking for a career.

He set out how construction could present itself as an industry where young people are given the freedom to innovate, hold real responsibility and are valued in order to attract talent.

Judges thought his ideas were superb and saw a real spark in Jonathan to drive the industry forward. They singled out his drive to make positive changes through the work construction firms carry out.

His awareness of the role the sector can play in joining together and creating better communities captured the essence of the industry, the panel said.

Because of these values, the judges described Jonathan as having the potential to drive real change in the industry.

“Jonathan’s ideas were superb and he brought a spark to his presentation”

Judges’ comment

As a recent graduate, his career to date also drew considerable praise. Jonathan has already been asked to share best practice at a company-wide event, speaking to his colleagues at Stantec Treatment about the benefits of harnessing new technology on site.

Since 2017, Jonathan has been at the forefront of introducing innovations onto construction sites of eight2O alliance members – including Skanska, Costain and Balfour Beatty – for client Thames Water.

Not only has he been fundamental in implementing new technology on site to enhance productivity, he has also successfully led training sessions to steer delivery teams towards a digital mindset.

Jonathan has done this through engaging select operatives who understand the benefits technology can bring, and using them as champions on sites to help spread implementation. This has seen a change in mindset emerge across his sites from the ground up.

Overall, judges said Jonathan represented the digital-first future that construction should be aiming for.

They cited the enjoyment he took in his job and his dedication to making an impact as inspirational, and were full of praise for his strong sense of social responsibility.

So impressed were the judges, that several pledged to take Jonathan’s ideas on board for use in their own workplaces.

His enthusiasm and passion to improve and advance the industry was exceptional, the panel said, concluding that Jonathan has a bright future ahead of him.

Highly commended: Roseanna Bloxham, RSK Group 

RSK senior environmental engineer Roseanna Bloxham impressed judges with her original ideas on how to encourage young people into a career in construction.

She also focused on how to retain future talent in the industry, which the judges singled out for praise.

Her commitment to the industry outside of work through her role as a STEM ambassador and blog writer was commendable, the panel added.

Highly commended: Rebecca Wade, Kier

Judges were struggling to fault Kier senior bid manager Rebecca Wade’s presentation on how to make the industry more attractive to future generations.

She impressed judges with her comprehensive overview of the issues construction faces in attracting in millennial talent.

Her strategy to improve traditional perceptions of the industry was based on advancing the digital agenda and promoting construction to parents and education providers.

Judges applauded Rebecca for providing a range of solutions to solve the skills shortage.


  • Cameron Bell – A14 Integrated Delivery Team / Skanska UK
  • Gareth Bevins – Turner & Townsend
  • Jonathan Hardisty – Turner & Townsend
  • Najwa Jawahar – WSP
  • Lianne Lawson – Willmott Dixon
  • Jeanette McLean – Walker Construction UK
  • Neeraj Kumar Sharma – Atkins, part of SNC Lavalin
  • Rachel Toor – Shaylor Group
  • Richard Wood – Turner & Townsend

CITB new logo

CITB new logo

Sponsored by: CITB

The CITB uses its research and labour market intelligence to understand the sector’s skills needs, and works with industry and government to make sure construction has the right skills, now and for the future.

Go Construct, funded through the CITB levy, helps to meet the future skills needs of the industry and aims to attract, inform and retain a talented workforce for the construction sector.

It encourages young people to become construction ambassadors, who inspire potential new entrants into the industry, using their experience to convey what it’s actually like working in construction.

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