News & Views

FPS Podcast – 16 July 2020

The latest podcast from the Federation of Piling specialists (FPS), sponsored by Casagrande UK, hears FPS Chair Steve Hadley talk to Anthony Oloyede, Head of Hillingdon Building Control, about building design, building control procedures and the Construction Youth Trust, and Ebenezer Adenmosun owner of consultancy firm Geofirma, about his career path and work with the FPS on its mentoring scheme.

Steve kicks off the podcast asking Anthony about the London District Surveyors Association (LDSA) paper he helped author on bored piles and how it came about – especially the use of SI data and its application in pile design, before moving discussion on to the sort of processes a building control officer would go through when evaluating piles. Anthony then moves onto the Public Sector / Private Sector and how the role of NHBC and other companies – driven by insurance – have added to the options available but is under review post-Grenfell.

Anthony’s work as President of the Local Authority Building Control is also explored, from the remit of the organisation – overseeing all building control teams in England and Wales – and the work it does supporting the Construction Youth Trust and what charity does to encourage young people from different backgrounds into the built environment sector. Anthony speaks about the courses they run, from schools right through to colleges. Anthony’s other aims, such as the environment and the work the LABC is having on tackling the issues of sustainability are explained too.

Ebenezer kicked off his discussion talking about the career path he has followed beginning as a civil engineer, before moving into geotechnical engineering and how, in his early roles, access to his “boss” provided him with the much-needed mentoring to help him as well as having a training agreement in place to ensure . Work with Aecom and then Skanska honed his piling skills and ultimately setting up Geofirma and being an Associate Member of the FPS.

Steve explores deeper into the challenges Ebenezer faced as a black man joining the industry and his career progression. Ebenezer, talks frankly about his experiences and his first interview on the ‘milk round’ at University where he was met, from contractor to xxx with comments about “why should he be offered a job only to take the skills and return to his own country”. It also became apparent he was getting very few replies to his applications and even fewer interviews. This prejudice is explored further with a discussion about unconscious bias and how we must educate ourselves about this.

Anthony’s experiences are discussed too and how working with the Construction Youth Trust as a role model for minority groups can encourage more to enter construction. The importance of role models and the work Ebenezer is doing with the FPS is also outlined and how to address the gender and minority group imbalance that exists. The changes the sector is willing to do to address issues is also discussed and the initiatives such as the FPS mentoring scheme, which is explored at length. The support the mentoring scheme has received from FPS members has been tremendous and Steve talks about how this is moving forward and even what training they are looking to provide to mentors to ensure they deliver optimally.

The podcast concludes with the aspirational projects everyone has worked on and how these have continued to impress as their careers have evolved as well as inspire others in to coming to the industry.

Another great listen, the podcast is available now here: https://audioboom.com/posts/7633235-anthony-oloyede-and-ebenezer-adenmosun