A fast-growing global engineering consultancy has made a senior leadership appointment in a key strategic move for the business.

Black and White (B&W) Engineering, with offices in the UK, Middle East and Asia, has appointed a global HR director to further develop its people and culture strategy.

Based at the Newcastle office, Rachel Ovington has over 15 years of experience in HR and talent development and joins B&W from KP Snacks, part of the Intersnack Group – a global savoury snacks business where she has spent the last four years leading the corporate and commercial HR team for the UK as Head of HR and business partner to the KP executive team.

Rachel’s immediate priority is focused on how HR supports and drives business growth through a people-centred strategy. Her key responsibilities include enhancing employee engagement, developing great talent and establishing a strong employer brand.

Steven Horn, director at B&W Engineering, said: “Rachel joining us at the start of a new year is a milestone moment in our growth journey.

“In the last 18 months, our workforce has grown by over 100% in the UK alone. We have a diverse, skilled team who have not only shown great resilience during the pandemic but also delivered some of the most innovative and progressive MEP design projects on a global scale.

“Bringing Rachel on board will enable us to progress and enhance our holistic HR function ensuring we are supporting and developing our people to be at their best, in a way that’s tailored to both personal and business needs.

“Although we’re a global company, we’re very much one team who share the same mindset and the same values.

“We celebrate difference and recognise the value diversity brings to how we make great decisions, develop our skills for the future and deliver projects for our clients around the world.

“Rachel will focus on strengthening our global people strategy which is integral to our overall growth plans. HR plays a fundamental role and we’re delighted to have her on board.”

B&W is a leader in MEP engineering design services with clients across the UK and Europe as well as the Middle East and Asia. Nearly 30% of employees are based in the UK with over 200 employees working out of the firm’s international offices.

Training, mentorship and development play a big role at B&W. The company is actively involved in apprenticeships, and works with partners such as Gateshead College on its flagship PlanBEE programme in the North of England, which helps students with career progression and prioritises continuous talent development.

Rachel said: “For me to be at my best, my heart and my head must connect to the organisation I am part of and that’s exactly what I’ve got within B&W.

“They’re brilliantly talented, work on some of the world’s most groundbreaking MEP design projects and are great at what they do – and it’s because they are an incredible team.

“Our shared values, the passionate, considered vision and genuine connection across the team are what makes the company stand out from the rest.

“I’m really looking forward to being part of B&W’s future and I’m relishing the challenges and experiences ahead.”