Faheem Parkar is shortlisted for ‘Future Leader of the Year’ at the Tech Leader Awards 2018. Here, Faheem explains his role as a Graduate Technology Engineer for Kier Highways and talks about other initiatives he is involved in at Kier.

“Having graduated in BEng (Hons) Electronics Engineering from De Montfort University, I joined Kier Highways and the Technology Team in January 2017 as the team’s first Graduate Engineer.

With ambitions to become a future leader, I was always keen on joining a company on a graduate programme. This was due to the rotational opportunities this presents, which would allow me to gain a wider understanding of the roles within a business. I had attended many graduate assessment days with various companies and was fortunate enough to receive numerous offers. However, at the Kier assessment day in December 2016; I met Paul Wilson, the Network Technology Director of the Kier Highways Technology Services Business. From the discussions we had on the day, Paul’s vision and plans for his team were truly inspiring; I had belief in Paul and wanted to learn from him, so I opted to take the opportunity at Kier.

My role has given me the opportunity to work on the Highways England Area 9 contract in the Midlands as part of 600 people covering the major roads around Birmingham, Coventry and Stoke-on-Trent. It is the largest maintenance area in the UK and is exciting as the region contains more than 30% of the highways technology roadside assets on the English Strategic Road Network.

I have also been involved in many other activities and initiatives during my time at Kier. I have volunteered for many Kier corporate events, activities and initiatives; being fortunate enough to have my team management support this. The opportunity to lead a team from Kier Highways on a Global Business Management competition to manage a UK-based global construction business was awe-inspiring. The competition provided the opportunity to experience senior leadership roles, making key financial, procurement, job progression and marketing decisions to keep the team and business growing.

Although I am proud to have managed technology projects in excess of £1.5m under senior supervision; something I am most proud of is to be the only graduate sitting on the UK Safer Highways Advisory Council. Safety has traditionally been the concern of business leaders, but this isn’t the case at Kier and as part of the Vision 2020 target to achieve zero accident incident rate, I aim to promote safety across the Group, as well as the industry as a whole.

I have done a lot in my short time at Kier and one of the most rewarding things I do is to mentor & increase the overall day-to-day operating knowledge of the technology team’s apprentices. I regularly set work plans, work load targets and help to manage the apprentices by keeping them productive and ensuring their skills are utilised.

To be shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘Future Leader of the Year’ category at a national level, at the Tech Leaders Awards 2018 is a great moment for me. It highlights the recognition and appreciation I have received from my team and the business for my work so far. However, more so, it reflects the continuous support and guidance I have received from my team and Kier Highways. I have learnt so much from the team during my time at Kier and I look forward to further developing this knowledge to help me achieve my career ambitions within the Group.”