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"Give young people training and support so that they have a chance to fly"

Gwen Heap, operations executive at Re:allies, tells us why she loves construction.

How did you get into the industry?

I moved up to Manchester from the South-west, having worked for years in boat building, and so had to look for another career.

I had the transferable skills and managed to persuade someone to give me a chance.

Although I had to start from the bottom of a new career ladder, I had a great mentor and they encouraged and supported me to get to where I wanted to be.

What is the best thing about construction?

I’d definitely say the teams you get to work with and the sense of achievement you get at the end of the project when you can see what all the hard work has achieved.

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

While the stereotype of the wolf-whistling builder is no longer so prevalent, there is still a high level of assertive and dominating behaviour which can distract from the great job we can do when working together.

At the end of the project, we all want the same thing: for it to be a success for everyone involved and the people that will use it in the future.

How should we encourage young people to join the industry?

Give them a chance to get stuck in so they can see the impact of their contribution, and make sure you give them training and support so that they have the chance to fly.

Gwen Heap is an operations executive at Re:allies 

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