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The Spotlight is on Generation for Change North East and Tees Valley co-chairs, Hollie Statham and Rebecca Watt

It is clear to see why Generation for Change (G4C) is the young professional voice of the North East Built Environment. G4C is part of Constructing Excellence, with both the North East and Tees Valley committees striving to become the driving force for industry change, through the development and connection of future industry leaders.

Hollie Statham, design manager at Bowmer+Kirkland and Mitchell Galloway, project manager, within Newcastle City Council’s major project team, are co-chairs for the North of the region.

Rebecca Watt, assistant cost manager at Turner & Townsend, has recently been appointed as co-chair for Tees Valley, alongside Adam Pearce, believe housing.

As well as being G4C co-chair, Hollie is involved in the OneVoice construction campaign, which aims to build a successful, sustainable and inclusive construction industry, with its overarching ambition to ensure North East England is recognised as a beacon of best practice.

OneVoice, focuses on three integrated themes to drive cultural change – climate, people and value to which Hollie is the people lead.

Hollie, said: “I have been co-chair for the North East committee for 18 months, having been appointed to the position just before the pandemic. It is an exciting time for G4C and we are all eager to make an impact, promote cultural change and target key built environment issues within the North East and Tees Valley.

“We want to be the driving force for the industry and G4C acts as a platform for young professionals to connect and influence what is happening within the sector.

“I am passionate about people development and this is reflected within my role as co-chair. I have been fortunate to have had great support through the early stages of my professional career and G4C has also had a major impact on my personal development. It provides ambitious individuals with opportunities to make life-long connections and to have access to innovative industry thinking.

“As we move towards the end of the year, we are enjoying a mixture of webinars and live events, one of which was the G4C Awards, celebrating our region’s emerging talent. We have a range of topical webinars available, the most recent being modern methods of construction and an upcoming event on the current materials crisis.”

Alongside Hollie, Rebecca Watt, is another rising star within the industry and was announced apprentice of the year at the recent G4C Awards.

Rebecca, said: “Having been vice-chair of the Tees Valley group for a couple of years, I jumped at the opportunity to become appointed as co-chair with Adam. As a group, we look forward to making a real impact, the webinars provide an opportunity for those who cannot travel to attend events online but we need to get back out in front of people and build links, particularly with the region’s universities.

“All co-chairs meet up four times a year to ensure our vision is aligned and to share best practice and ideas. Covid has been a challenge but the G4C brand has remained strong via webinars, e-newsletter and CPD courses. Our aim throughout, was to provide support to young professionals.

“As we look to 2022, we want to build on our momentum and bring together like-minded individuals to inspire and promote the sector. We also want to highlight that construction is not just about hard hats, it is open to all, from architects to solicitors, all working across the sector in varying roles.

“Engaging with local schools is crucial, as is getting into colleges and universities to reach students from an early age and promote the benefits and good work of our sector.

“We have a lot of hard work to do but, as a group, we are focused and committed to really raising the profile of the built environment and to support our young professionals develop in their chosen field and inspire the next generation to consider a career in construction.”

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