Barker takes on the role from outgoing MD, Clive Williamson, who has helped the education specialist grow to a £80m turnover business over the past three years.
Barker has 20 years experience in senior construction roles including time at Jarvis and the Eric Wright Group.
He joined Ocon in February 2009 and has successfully managed the transformation of the former Rail House office building in Manchester into the new BREEAM Excellent Government offices known as ‘Piccadilly Gate’.
His 35 year construction industry career includes periods as Operations Director at Jarvis and Eric Wright Group and he counts health and safety, quality and building relationships as areas of specialist expertise.
Barker said: “Ocon has completed an enviable portfolio of student accommodation and academic schemes since being established in 2004 and we will continue to build on this success.
“However, we also have an enviable track record of commercial schemes, including the £27 million Piccadilly Gate scheme on which I was project manager, and we will increase our involvement with this type of scheme going forward.
“My past experience in both managerial and director roles puts me in a position where I can maximise my strengths and work alongside like-minded people.
“I am fortunate to be coming into a role that puts me at the head of a very talented, focused and dynamic team and I will be working with them to ensure that we play to our commercial strengths whilst offering clients the quality and reliability for which Ocon is known.
“Ocon’s expertise in delivering high quality schemes to programme and on budget makes us well-placed to remain ahead of the competition.
“My task will be to leverage the experience within the team as we work closely with our sister company Opal Property Group and continue to expand our client base in both the private and public sectors.”