Think you’re bright, talented and destined for great things? Then you might even think you’ve got what it takes to be nominated for a g4c award by your peers. The g4c (that’s Generation for Collaboration) awards were set up to reward young professionals in construction, and the first winners have just been announced. Building spoke to four to find out what set them apart. Prepare to be inspired...
- 34, estate modernisation programme manager, the government’s Vehicle Operator Services Agency
- Winner of the Building4jobs award for her commitment to partnering and sustainability
“Joanna is dynamic. She’s delivered seven consecutive projects on programme and all at costs significantly below normal levels. She has organised regular partnering workshops, each digging deeper into the team, educating them in the ways to “do it differently”, using collaborative rather than confrontational processes to achieve a common goal. She has also persuaded the agency to install wind turbines on all sites in the future.”
What Joanna says
“I am a chartered surveyor and I love taking a blank canvas and making it into something special. I started on small station projects but quickly realised the whole estate was in need of refurbishment. I set up a framework of consultants and a contractor to roll out four to six projects a year.
“What I’ve learned from it is that I’m like a mum to the team and I have to nurture them. Where there is a family structure, they will do anything for you. Being in charge of so many people doesn’t intimidate me at all.
“The downside is, I hardly get any free time because I have two small children. If I have to pick them up at five, I have to make sure everything is done by then. Everything is 100 miles an hour, but I thrive on being busy.
“I have created the Sparkle-ometer, which is the best key performance indicator we have ever had. I told the team I wanted to hand buildings over sparkling, without measurements written on the wall or paint splashes. It’s a giant cylinder with a measuring dial on the side, partly filled with glitter. We want the glitter to be at the top. Everybody on site understands it and thinks it’s brilliant.
- 24, architectural assistant, architect Waring and Netts
- Winner of the Faber Maunsell award for her work to introduce young people to the industry, acting as an official ambassador for CITB-ConstructionSkills
“Carinna is able to manage a heavy workload while finding time to participate in many architectural projects that support the local community. She is personable and has raised the bar in terms of the quality of graduate that Waring and Netts has come to expect.”
What Carinna says
“Younger people are in an ideal position to encourage teenagers into the industry, particularly architects like me who are on work placements from university. We are still students ourselves and aren’t that much older than them, so we can demonstrate that people in the industry don’t all conform to a stereotype.
“Working with young people is really rewarding, although it can be exhausting.
I do feel for teachers, because working with schoolkids you have to be energetic all the time – it’s not as easy as sitting at your desk.
“It’s also been useful for me professionally, as I’ve been working on education schemes [including a Sure Start community centre project and work for school design body Schoolworks]. It helps you as an architect if you understand the people you’re designing for. I’m a strong believer in user participation.
“I became interested in architecture when I was quite young and I did my first work experience in an architect’s office when I was 15. Originally, I had been interested in interior design, but I soon realised that I’m not particularly arty. Architecture attracted me because it’s a blend of arts and science.”
- 30, director, fit-out and refurbishment specialist Parkeray
- Winner of the Taylor Woodrow award for her leadership skills
“Clare is a rare talent within our industry. At 30 years old, she holds down the position of company director with effortless ease. She is directorial, strategic and a leader. Uniquely skilled in her ability to manage, work with and motivate people, her raw, almost childlike enthusiasm inspires everyone to deliver the high standard of service that she sets herself, which most people can only dream about.”
What Clare says
“When I was 12, my headmaster gave me the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given. He said that whatever you do, regardless of whether you’re expected to do it or someone’s paying you, once you’ve done it then the achievement and experience belongs to you. Since then, I’ve always given everything a go.
“When I joined Parkeray, it had never had a business development department so I had to establish myself, not only in a new job but in a new department and role.
“I do take my work home with me – I do long hours and I can’t just switch off from it all. But that’s OK because I love my job and it’s more of a lifestyle. What inspires me is seeing the industry change for the better. When I started, there were very few women in the profession. I remember going to a lunch where there were about 350 guests, but only five were women. This year, I went to the same event and counted two women on every table. “My ambition is to carry on inspiring people to come into the industry.”
- 31, team associate and training co-ordinator, engineer Whitbybird
- Winner of the Emcor award for his work on the design of prestigious projects and his work with trainees and schoolchildren
“Eddie is someone I turn to regularly with technical engineering queries to tap into his varied experience. He is my career role model: he has an incredible portfolio of completed projects for his age. He’s also a good bloke to meet up with for a pint or two after work. He stands out from the crowd because of his infectious laugh.”
What Eddie says
“My motivation comes from a guy I worked for when I first graduated. He inspired a sense of purpose in me. I’ve tried to pass this on and, for the past five years, I have been involved in our trainee development programme, helping to change things that I would have liked to have been done differently in my time.
“I help with the softer training for graduates: so far I’ve developed a book club, language courses and art classes.
“I have always been very sporty. These days, I captain Whitbybird’s five-a-side football team and go yachting. I go to Little Britain and love it.
“My job does give me a few sleepless nights, when I worry about getting a detail right, but it is a consequence of pushing the boundaries. The reward is worth the effort.
“My ambition is to leave a legacy through the buildings I work on. I want my projects to be recognised in 20 or 50 years’ time. A lot of schemes fade out after the first few years but mine won’t be among them.”