New college construction manager, Lisa, follows in her father’s and grandfather’s footsteps.Print Page
With her grandfather a painter, and her father a joiner, there was only one career path for Darlington girl Lisa Bowerbank.
Lisa has just been appointed as the first female curriculum construction manager in a Tees Valley college.
She started as a 16 year old student on a diploma in construction at Darlington College and now heads a team of 20 men at the same college, delivering high quality teaching in the building trades, planning and the built environment.
And it’s a family tradition that runs deep – Lisa’s three-year old daughter has developed an early love of diggers!
“I grew up with construction and it’s all I ever wanted to do,” said Lisa.
She spent time in industry and has taught on high level construction courses for the past 10 years.
Now she takes over the helm running the department which has seen a £2m investment in the teaching environment and a new Gas Training Centre, supported by Worcester Bosch.
“I am really lucky to have inherited such a great department and a great team and I’m really looking forward to driving this forward and further enhancing the student experience, increasing student numbers and ensuring those students who come on a construction course have the best possible skills for their careers,” she said.
Lisa, who is a busy mum of two, urged other women to take an interest in construction careers.
“Traditionally it has been a career for men but there are so many different strands to construction, so many opportunities, especially here in the North East. The industry has turned the corner and everywhere I go I see new and exciting projects.
“And importantly we know there are well paid quality jobs at the end. Many of my former students have gone to achieve great things, everything from project managers to careers taking them abroad. If I do anything it’s to encourage young girls in schools to broaden their career horizons and come down to college and investigate courses and careers in construction and engineering,” she said.
After years in the classroom she said leaving her students to take up a management role was a huge decision.
“Being in front of my students, getting to know them, watching them grow and develop and sharing their passion for the subject has been a privilege and now being able to inspire those other tutors will be just as rewarding. Everything we do is about our students and I can’t wait to lead my team from the top and make sure we are delivering the next generation of painters and decorators like my granddad and joiners like my dad,” she said.