On becoming president of Local Authority Building Control (LABC), Anthony Oloyede FRICS pledged to focus on the need for social mobility and to attract more young people into the profession.
LABC represents public service building control surveyors and technicians across England and Wales. Members number around 3,700 with figures expected to grow as new duties and responsibilities are placed on public service building control under the government's building safety programme.
Oloyede, the head of building control at the London Borough of Hillingdon, assumed the role at the annual president's reception in October, succeeding 2018– 19 incumbent Dave Sharp. The event saw more than 150 guests celebrate 30 years since the formation of LABC's forerunner the District Surveyors Association.
Oloyede says: 'LABC is at the forefront of the drive to improve building control and strengthen practice and competence across our network. I've been closely involved in this work, and was glad to chair the standards committee when we started our own review back in 2016. But while standards and quality are vital to us and the wider construction industry, I also want to focus on other changes. I believe in social mobility for all, especially young people.
I've faced challenges in my career, but I've also been helped and mentored by friends, colleagues and people I admire. Practical help, role models and feelings of respect make a real difference. Equality of opportunity in an inclusive society always needs a helping hand, and I'm going to do all I can in my presidential year.
He adds: 'LABC's network has been changing rapidly, and I believe we can be yet more diverse. LABC can become a shining example for others to follow. I want to make a difference and I intend to inspire and motivate a younger generation to show them how LABC is making that difference, through its investment in standards, quality management, competence and learning.'
It's a tradition for LABC presidents to name a charity of the year, and Oloyede has selected Construction Youth Trust (CYT) – which aims to inspire young people to overcome barriers by achieving careers in construction and the built environment.
Oloyede explains: 'The trust targets young people who are the hardest to reach – those socially disadvantaged or excluded those from low-income backgrounds, who face barriers and, through no fault of their own, currently miss opportunities. It's all about class, poverty, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability.'
Oloyede also announced that he plans to run a joint campaign with the trust, called Building Aspiration, which aims to help people aspire into a career in a sector when they can't see people like themselves represented and succeeding.
Image © Anthony Oloyede