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"33 years later I am still learning every day"

John Bampkin is regional director for the Midlands and East of England at Jewson - and he loves construction.

How did you get into the industry?

Back in 1981 when I started work there were nearly 4m people unemployed.

My uncle was a lorry driver for a builder’s merchant so he got me a job as a yardman in their timber yard.

I then moved into most positions within the branch and have worked my way through the business ever since – 33 years later I am still learning every day.

What is the best thing about construction?

The people are the industry’s biggest asset without any doubt.

I have met the most down to earth, friendy, committed people I know from this industry.

Most of them have started at the bottom and worked their way up; it’s one of the best industries for opportunity in that way.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?

The payment culture – there is still room for improvement here across the board.

If we could make this easier throughout the supply chain I believe many businesses that have gone under would still be around today.  

How should we encourage young people to join the industry?

It has some of the best career prospects around.

I don’t know of any other industry where the managers, directors, MDs and CEOs have started right at the bottom and worked their way through.

The building industry will always be here as the most basic need of people is shelter, so if they want to apply themselves and learn they will be rewarded.

John Bampkin is regional director for the Midlands and East of England at Jewson

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