And finally… Third of construction workers ‘inspired by cartoon characters’ for career choice



Bob2.0 (left) replaces the much-loved 1998 version
42 per cent of construction workers believe Bob the Builder best represents the industry

A new study has revealed that a third of construction workers in the UK were so taken with certain characters in films or TV shows during childhood that they later inspired their future career paths.

As part of its ongoing research into the decisions made and factors considered by Britons when making the choice to work in construction, a business insurance website decided to look into how many workers in the UK feel their career choices were affected by the TV shows they enjoyed during childhood.

A total of 1,947 workers across a plethora of construction sectors were polled for the purposes of the research. All participants were aged 18-55 years old and were working residents in the United Kingdom.

Builders of the future
Builders of the future

Workers were initially asked how much television they watched during a typical day in their childhood (ages 3-8 years old), with the average amount emerging at 3.5 hours per day, or 24.5 hours per week. When then given a list of various iconic characters from film and TV shows and asked to pick the one they find the most iconic to the construction industry, the most popular five answers emerged as follows:

  1. Bob the Builder (Builder) - (42 per cent)

  1. Super Mario (Plumber) - (19 per cent)

  1. Fred Flintstone (Construction Engineer) - (16 per cent)

  1. Emmet from The Lego Movie (Builder) - (8 per cent)

  1. Wreck-It Ralph (Demolition Man) - (4 per cent)

When then asked if they felt as though time spent watching characters like these had contributed at to their career choice, just under one third (31 per cent) of respondents admitted that seeing characters on television and film working in construction had an influence on the job they ultimately ended up in.

When asked if they believed there should be more positive role models in the media, representing those who work in such industries as construction, two thirds of respondents (66 per cent) agreed that there should be. Furthermore, the vast majority of respondents (81 per cent) agreed that women working in or around the construction sectors should be more fairly represented on film and television.

Lyndon Wood, CEO and creator of constructaquote.com, said: “It’s great that some of the most popular childhood characters, such as Bob the Builder, represent tradespeople in the construction industry. Clearly these characters are more influential than we expect. However, the fact that the characters working in such industries don’t necessarily represent the whole workforce evidently hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“The quality and availability of careers advice, through the medium of the media, has a huge impact on the choices young people make about their futures. I certainly think that there would be less youngsters with unrealistic ambitions of making it as singers, dancers or actors if there were more substantial career choices portrayed on kid’s television programmes. Bob the Builder and Fred Flintstone must be getting on a bit now, surely they need some younger trailblazers to lead the way?”