Interview with LABC Newcomer of the Year, Jarred Parisi
Introducing Jarred Parisi, winner of the LABC Newcomer of the year award in the Grand Finals 2021. Jarred will be sharing what it is like to be a part of Building Control and his experiences as an apprentice for National Apprenticeship Week.
What is your current job title and how long have you worked within this role?
I am currently an apprentice Building Control surveyor at East Cambridgeshire District Council. I started working at East Cambs in 2017 as a part-time administrator. In 2019 I enrolled on the Building Control Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship at Wolverhampton University.
What influenced/inspired you to decide to work in public service building control?
I was influenced by being part of the Building Control office environment for 2 years. In that time I was involved in interesting conversations with colleagues talking about fascinating topics. It immediately made me interested in the technical side of the job and I wanted to learn more. I was always asking questions about what they were talking about because I was genuinely fascinated by the conversations taking place. My manager approached me to see if I wanted to pursue a career in surveying which led to me being offered a place on Wolverhampton University’s first Building Control Apprenticeship Degree.
What do you enjoy most about your current role?
As an Apprentice surveyor, every day is different. I am constantly looking at and talking about different things that constantly pique my interest. Building Control is all about learning and developing skills. As regulations are updated, it is important to keep my mind fresh and ready to learn. I enjoy the challenges that the job provides and it is always a great feeling helping people solve problems. Our Building Control moto is ‘We don't do problems, only solutions’ and I believe this is a brilliant phrase to take into each working day.
What’s a typical day like in building control for you?
A typical day as a Building Control surveyor involves coming into the office in the morning, answering emails, taking phone calls and checking plans to make sure they comply with the Building Regulations. At around 10:30 we sort out what site inspections we will be carrying out that day. I then spend around half an hour checking what jobs I am about to go to and prepare for what I will be seeing on-site. We then spend the day carrying out site inspections, looking at anything from foundations to roofs. Meeting new people on-site is one of my favourite parts of the job. After site inspections, we return to the office and write up our findings and discuss site visits with colleagues which is another great way of learning. I split my time between undertaking solo inspections and working with a more senior mentor to improve my knowledge.
What qualification have you completed with us and why did you decide to undertake this qualification?
I am currently half way through my apprenticeship studying Building Control surveying. I decided to undertake this course when my manager at the time asked if I would be interested. I instantly ‘bit his hand off’ as it became a dream of mine over the few years being part of the Building Control office doing administrative work. I enjoyed this but I wanted to progress further in the industry as it was a real interest to me.
What do you feel is most beneficial about working and studying at the same time?
It has been incredibly beneficial undertaking an apprenticeship. You get the best of both worlds. I am learning the job through university lectures and also going out on site and seeing it for myself in person. It was a perfect combination which helped towards my growth and continues to help develop my skills within Building Control. Although I believe this is a brilliant way of learning the job, it is also important to ensure that you give yourself enough time to spend on your course assignments. It can sometimes feel overwhelming when you have coursework to complete but also ‘work work’ to carry out as well. Over the last couple of years, I have learnt the importance of time management. It takes time to grasp fully but if you are able to find a way of balancing your coursework with your day to day work, you are half way there.
How has your new qualification helped you within your current role and for your future career prospects?
My studies have helped me immensely. We get to talk about really interesting subjects and events. Without my course, I would not have heard of some of these. I have also made lots of great friends throughout the studies at Wolverhampton University. We are able to help each other with assignments and bounce ideas off each other all the time, which is amazing.
What’s next for you in your career?
After I complete my apprenticeship, I plan on applying for a Chartered membership with either CIOB or CABE. Alongside my apprenticeship I will also be undertaking my Domestic Building Control Surveyor Competency Validation later this year, then plan to progress through the validation assessments as I gain more experience. I believe the validation programme is essential for Building Control Surveyor's to prove their competence. Eventually, I aim to complete the LABC Fire Safety in Complex Buildings qualification as this will be a crucial aspect of the job, whether the job in question is a single storey extension or a high-rise building.
What advice would you give to someone considering joining local authority building control as an apprentice?
I would have to encourage people considering joining a local authority building control career path to take a similar approach to me because you get the best of both worlds. You're able to study and also go out on site with your team and see things develop in front of you. With both of these aspects covered, it is the perfect combination to be able to prosper. I’m building a great career for myself and there are masses of opportunities for motivated and knowledgeable people.
It is a long journey and it is never ending. At first, you will feel as if you know nothing, but with experience comes knowledge. If I am honest, in this occupation I do not think anybody will ever know everything as it is a continuous process with constant new additions of legislation and regulations. But, please stick with it. It’s worth it. It is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world.
How does it feel to be part of a 3,500 strong network of local authority building control professionals?
Honestly, it does feel amazing to be a part of a national network of local authority building control surveyors. Essentially, we are all on the same team and we are all working towards the same overall goal. It is nice to know that lots of other hard-working people are on the same, or similar paths to mine. Everyone working within the LABC network is working towards the same goal with regards to validation and proven competence. Bringing uniformity to that number of people working in the same industry can only be good for future projects and knowledge. Working together and sharing information and ideas as such a large group is really good for the industry. This job does involve a lot of hard work, but I urge everybody involved in this industry to stay motivated to learn and prosper, as this job can be one of the most rewarding jobs available.
What’s the most rewarding part about your job?
The job, as a whole, is extremely rewarding. I love the fact that everyday we, as a team, are helping people. I enjoy being ‘out and about’ and meeting lots of interesting people. The teamwork we are involved in day to day is what keeps me going as I know that however tricky a situation may seem, I am able to discuss matters with my colleagues and work as a team to resolve any problems I am faced with. As mentioned before, our moto is ‘We do not do problems, only solutions’.
How did it feel to be recognised as the national winner in the LABC Awards for Newcomer of the Year?
It is an honour to be the winner of the LABC Newcomer of the Year award. The award ceremony was a great night hosted by many influential people in the industry. I could not have done it without the constant help and support from my colleagues in the East Cambs Building Control team. Winning the award means a lot to me because it shows that hard work really does pay off. I thank my manager Craig Smith for nominating me for the award. Furthermore, I feel that everything involved in this occupation is a team effort and I would very much like to see more opportunities for all members of staff involved in local authority building control to win awards. It has given me a huge boost and I hope that many other hard working people around the nation are able to experience the same feeling.
How do you think winning the award will help you in your career in local authority building control?
Moving forward, I believe that winning the LABC Newcomer of the Year award will help me in my local authority building control career. It will help me to be recognised as a hard worker who has ‘worked my way up from the bottom’ and prove that I have taken my chance to show that I can become a successful asset to the LABC network and continue to help people every day. Although I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to be the 2021 LABC Newcomer of the Year, I believe it is crucial that I continue to show the same amount of dedication and enthusiasm towards my apprenticeship course. I do not want to lose sight of becoming qualified and Chartered in the job I love doing so much.
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