Blackpool woman in line for new award

Roberta Austin
Roberta Austin
Have your say

The centre manager for a Blackpool programme which retrains unemployed young people and adults in construction skills has been nominated for a top award.

Roberta Austin, MBE, is the centre manager for Build Up, a Blackpool and Fylde College initiative to ensure that the construction work being undertaken locally leaves a lasting legacy for future generations.

Roberta in the running for a prestigious Daily Mirror Hero of Construction award for the North West region, which is part of the Pride of Construction Awards, the annual industry prize-giving run by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

The awards celebrate all of the best people, companies and partners in the construction industry.

This year’s ceremony, which takes place on November 25 at the Natural History Museum in London, arrives at an exciting time for the construction industry, with 25,000 jobs forecast to be created in the North West over the next five years.

Roberta (pictured) has helped 4,000 people on the Fylde coast access opportunities in the construction industry.

Last year, Roberta’s work was recognised when she was awarded an MBE for services to vocational education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. She was also instrumental in Build Up’s Community Programme Award from the Howard League for Penal Reform, and won two awards from the Be Inspired Business Awards for Most Inspiring Business and Construction Business of the Year.

Plant operator Tyrone Chanteleau, of Bispham, was unemployed for five months until he joined Build Up and says he hasn’t been out of work since.

He said: “Roberta and Build Up are A1. There should be a Roberta and a Build Up in every town. She is like a personal assistant. Roberta’s there for you, she’ll do anything she’s capable of doing for you. Roberta’s straight talking and that’s what get her respect.”