Building’s 40 under 40 returns on Friday. In the meantime we look back at those we tipped for the top back in 2000

Ten years ago we profiled forty of the up and coming stars of construction. To qualify they had to be on the way up, and under 40 years of age. Now we have tracked them down to find out what’s happened over the last ten years. Over the course of this week we will find out what some of them have been doing, and on Friday we will reveal the stories of nearly all the original 40 under 40s.

To kick off the series Jason Millett tells us how his career progressed during the noughties.

Ten years ago you said you wanted to have made a difference in construction and have changed the industry for the better. Have you achieved this goal?

Yes, but not on my own and in a number of small steps rather than a giant stride. Major Contractor Group sites are now much safer and this is in no small way down to the introduction of Incident and Injury Free (IFF) by Bovis in 2003. This initiative was then taken up by BAA at T5 and has since been mirrored or copied by others.

Over the past 10 years I led and had responsibility for a number of major projects that have made a major contribution to the UK’s new infrastructure, ranging from major teaching hospitals to schools and new communities. These schemes have made a difference to our society and the way in which they have been delivered has improved the reputation of our industry.

There’s still a lot to do and I can’t wait…

Where do you see yourself in another 10 years?

The last 10 years have taught me that it’s difficult to predict and, in some ways, that’s the joy of it. All I would say is that construction is in my blood and to continue to play a leading part in the industry would be a privilege.

What is the biggest change you have seen in construction in the past decade?

It’s got to be health and safety. This is one area where major contractors have got the tiger by the tail and taken on deep-rooted cultural apathy. Other than that, I don’t believe the industry has changed enough - certainly not as much as it thinks it has. It is still too unpredictable with the outcomes it offers clients, suppliers and its staff. This is something that still needs to be addressed and I see myself as part of that.

What has been the highlight of your career since 2000? And the low point?

In terms of career position, the highlight has to have been my appointment as CEO of Bovis and, of course, the low point has to be leaving it behind and then watching the business implode. Having said that, I’m proof that it’s possible to move on and that in itself has been a highlight, to know that I have broader skills that work outside of that culture and I don’t need that corporation to still succeed. It’s been life-changing. Two years ago I took the opportunity to work on the London 2012 Olympics and what we are achieving is truly world class and is on track to be the biggest “UK Construction Plc” success in my lifetime. The last 10 years have taught me that it’s right to be true to yourself and it’s been a great learning curve. How could I better leading what was one of the industry’s greatest companies and now heading up the venues delivery team for London 2012? There have been highs and lows, but there’s not much that fazes me these days!

In 2000 your hero was Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Is this still the case?

Still the same. Nobody that I’m aware of has come along to touch what he achieved.

Three pieces of advice with the benefit of the last 10 years?

Be careful not to let ambition blindly take you into something you just don’t enjoy. Find what you enjoy and be the best at it.

To mark the 10 year anniversary of the 40 under 40, we have spent the last year calling on industry to nominate a new crop of rising stars. On Friday we will be revealing the men and women from all sectors who make up our new 40 under 40 2010.