Rise from apprentice bricklayer to shortlist for site manager of year

Site manager Neil Vickers, who is hoping to win a prestigious award.
Site manager Neil Vickers, who is hoping to win a prestigious award.

A Sutton man who has worked his way up in the building industry from apprentice bricklayer to site manager is in line to land a prestigious award.

Neil Vickers is one of only seven to be shortlisted for the site manager of the year accolade in the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Excellence Awards for the East Midlands.

The 41-year-old, who has worked for housebuilder Rippon Homes for 25 years, said: “I am so privileged to have been nominated. There are a lot of top-quality site managers in our region.”

Neil is currently working on a Rippon Homes site in Mansfield called Oakham Gardens. The company’s managing director, Ian Dyke, said: “Neil is a great site manager. He works really well with customers and has developed great working relationships with trade suppliers.”

The LABC excellence awards celebrate the achievements of individuals in the construction industry, as well as notable building programmes, compliance with regulations, craftsmanship and the ability to think of creative solutions for problems.

A spokesperson for the LABC said: “Our awards are an opportunity for the industry to celebrate good practice. They are unique because they recognise how co-operation with building control teams improves building standards and professionalism across the industry.”

Neil was nominated by senior building control officers at both Erewash Borough Council and Broxtowe Borough Council. He will learn whether he has won the award at a special ceremony to take place at the Leicester Athena conference and banqueting suite in June. Success would elevate him automatically for the shortlist for the national awards final in London in November when the winners of all 12 regions in the LABC network will be judged.

That would also be a far cry from Neil’s first day, as a 16-year-old rookie bricklayer, for Rippon Homes. In the meantime, he is busy on site at Oakham Gardens, which is a development, off Hermitage Lane, aimed at young professionals and families. It boasts 25 detached and semi-detached homes of three or four bedrooms.