Interview with LABC Newcomer of the Year, Steve Morrow
Introducing Steve Morrow, winner of the LABC Newcomer of the Year award in the Grand Finals 2023. Steve will be sharing what it is like to be a part of Building Control and how it felt to be a winner.
What is your current job title and how long have you worked in this role?
I'm currently an Assistant Building Control Surveyor. I joined Hertfordshire Building Control in August 2021
What influenced/inspired you to decide to work in public service building control?
I had my own small construction company for 23 years, and loved what I did!
I had booked a foundation inspection, to which a very friendly inspector called Sally Gray attended the site. I asked what qualifications were required to work within building control as I needed to change careers due to health issues, and she encouraged me to send a CV to the team.
They called me and we arranged an interview on Teams. The following week I was offered an apprenticeship with Hertfordshire Building Control, to which I am currently in my third year studying for my degree in BSc Building Control Surveying.
What do you enjoy most about your current role?
Every site has its challenges and I enjoy Interacting with all parties involved on projects. Also providing a service to the end user to ensure the work is up to the required standard and complies with building regulations.
What’s a typical day like in building control for you?
A typical day involves, answering emails and enquiries, followed by site visits ranging from foundations through to completion inspections.
I carry out plan checking from building notices to full plan applications. I have also attended dangerous structure calls and enforcement inspections.
What qualification/s have you completed with us and why did you decide to undertake these qualification/s?
I am currently attending University to obtain my BSc in Building Control Surveying. This is also followed by becoming chartered with CABE.
What do you feel is most beneficial about working and studying at the same time?
Within the team at Hertfordshire Building Control, we have several surveyors who can and do offer advice and guidance, it can be very beneficial to look at things from different perspectives, and this helps steer my studies.
What’s next for you in your career?
Once I have completed my degree, I will be looking into the options of obtaining further qualifications to further develop my knowledge and skills.
What advice would you give to someone considering joining local authority building control as an apprentice?
The role can be very rewarding. It is highly varied and interesting, and the opportunities to progress are present should you wish to.
How did it feel to be recognised as the national winner in the LABC Awards for Newcomer of the Year?
I was totally shocked if I’m honest, it was great to receive the award and accolade.
I have to say without the support of my wider team I could never have achieved it. There have been times with workload and studies that I had considered returning to my previous job. The encouragement and support from my colleagues has helped immensely.
It has been difficult returning to education after 30 years but I know it will be worth it.
How do you think winning the award will help you in your career in local authority building control?
This is difficult to answer. It is fantastic to get the recognition of hard work, from just asking the local building inspector for advice to where I am currently.
The award will be a great asset to have in my portfolio. Local authority building control is a career for life!
How does it feel to be part of a 3,500 strong network of local authority building control professionals?
Across the industry we all have challenges to overcome, the advice and experience that can be obtained within LABC can only benefit its members.
The CPD events have always been engaging and informative.
What’s the most rewarding part about your job?
I enjoy the challenge, and the interaction between everyone involved; contractors, engineers, architects, and applicants.
The reward is knowing their project is safe, and the relevant standards have been met, and helping to deliver a required service.
For many contractors small and large, building control has been viewed as the (enemy) but I try to explain that we are required by law to ensure compliance. A huge proportion of the role is how you communicate effectively.
Do you have what it takes to be the next LABC Awards winner?
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