Paul Dove, 43, from Lincolnshire has been shortlisted as one of eight finalists for the UK Worker of the Year 2013, sponsored by Dickies and Suzuki GB.

Dove (pictured), who has worked as a plumbing and heating engineer since leaving school, said: “I’m incredibly nervous. I didn’t know my partner had nominated me, so receiving a call about making the top 26 was a shock. I never thought I’d actually go on to make the final.”

“UK Worker of the Year is now in its fourth year and looks to recognise, reward and promote excellence in the British workforce,” said Maurice Morton, sales and marketing director for Dickies. “The word has spread wider than ever before about both the competition and what is involved, and the standard of entries has been outstanding this year. So much so that we couldn’t separate a number of entrants and had to go with eight finalists instead of six.”

The winner of this year’s competition will be able to choose between a Suzuki Swift car and a Suzuki GSR 750 motorcycle. Other prizes on offer include thousands of pounds’ worth of holidays from Thomas Cook for the runners up, as well as a host of high-quality workwear from Dickies.

This year’s gala event will see the audience vote live for their winner on the night, as opposed to putting the finalists in front of a judging panel. It will take place at the Madejski stadium in Reading on 18 October 2013.