News & Views

FPS Seeks Mentors to Support and Encourage Early Career Workers and Students

The Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS) is launching an “FPS Mentoring Scheme” and with it, seeking piling, foundations and geotechnical industry people to come forward to become mentors, as part of its goal to encourage wider participation and retention of those in the early stages of their geotechnical career, as well as engage with students looking for career direction.

The “FPS Mentoring Scheme” initiative is designed to help support the wider construction sector goal of increasing the number of people working within the industry from currently underrepresented demographics such as women and Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, in addition to helping retain those already inside sector. Mentors can be from all sectors of the industry that feel passionate about construction and able to offer a real-world and positive personal perspective on the geotechnical sector, such as the many opportunities it presents. The FPS also welcomes potential mentors who have recently retired but are willing to assist the next generation.

Typical mentees for the scheme include, students at university that have expressed an interest in the sector; early career persons, such as graduates looking to get chartered but lack the necessary guidance and support within their organisations; experienced persons who would benefit from a little encouragement to re-capture their ‘mojo’; and site operatives looking for more general support.

Steve Hadley, Chair FPS said: “Making piling, the geotechnical sector and wider construction industry more attractive as a career, as well retaining those already within the sectors, is a core aim of the FPS. Inspiring those expressing an interest in the construction and the geotechnical sectors is key and can be supported best by those ‘mentors’ that can communicate the opportunities and career rewards to all, including currently under-represented groups such as women, LGBTQ and BAME communities, and concurrently even have a positive impact the ever-present and growing issue of skills shortages. Steve has been working with prominent BAME geotechnical engineer Ebenezer Adenmosun, MD of geotechnical consultant Geofirma on this project. Ebenezer stated: “The mentee being able to identify with the mentor is crucial to the schemes success. Therefore, we need a diverse pool of experienced people to call upon.”

“The FPS considers mentorship a good first step in encouraging interest and participation, as their ‘in-industry’ knowledge can best provide the support, inspiration, encouragement and guidance to those that have expressed an interest in the geotechnical sector as well as motivate those already within the industry but looking for new direction.” Once the mentor group has been set up and training provided the FPS will reach out for mentees for them to be paired with. The scheme is intended to compliment internship programmes and peer networking programmes also being considered by the trade body.

Those industry people interested in becoming mentors or wish to learn more about the role and the FPS Mentoring Scheme should in the first instance contact Steve Hadley, via the email fps@fps.org.uk