Career Inspiration Video Series: Adam Wilkinson, QHSE Director CBRE


Career Inspiration Video Series: Adam Wilkinson, QHSE Director CBRE

Posted on 05 May 2024

​In the first instalment of our Career Inspiration videos, we speak with Adam Wilkinson, QHSE Director for CBRE.

In this video we discuss what attracted Adam to a career in health and safety, why he would recommend it as a career choice, the skills needed to be a successful health and safety professional, and his tips for anyone pursuing the career.

Hi, my name's Adam Wilkinson, I'm the QHSE Director for CBRE's FM Group in the UK. So CBRE is the world's biggest real estate firm, it does everything, but I'm concerned with the facilities management business in the UK.

What attracted you to work in health and safety?

I think health and safety is a fantastic industry to work in. I wouldn't say that my move into health and safety was deliberate. I started off as a career in environmental. And actually, environmental risk, how you manage that, it's very similar to health and safety, same with quality. So, it was more of a natural progression from environmental into health and safety, but it's a fascinating career.

Why would you recommend health and safety as a great career choice?

Health and safety is a great career choice. I've got a very short attention span, so I like variety, I like to have lots going on, and I think health and safety gives you that opportunity to do things that are very people focused, very technically focused across a broad range of subjects and a broad range of industries. So, lots of variety makes for a very interesting career path.

Why the property industry?

I've said that variety is the reason that health and safety is such a fascinating career path. Well, actually doing that in property, there's even more variety. So, I'm lucky enough to have about 700 different client organisations that I work with, and they range from hospitals and pharma through to banking and big corporate head offices, and everything in between. So, you could be on a manufacturing plant one day and then a big, shiny skyscraper in London the next, so loads of variety there, and FM really does enable that, it's very interesting.

What skills do you think the modern day health and safety professional needs to be successful?

I think the world's changing, everyone's talking about change at the moment, AI and technology particularly, and it's no different for the health and safety profession. So I think you need to be very accepting of that change, you know, horizon scanning, how's that going to impact my day to day? What do I need to do and how do I incorporate that? For example, with AI, I think information's going to be really, really available very, very quickly, and so, I see the profession really becoming more involved with actually deciphering whether that information's valid and how to use it, rather than actually being the producers of that information in the first place.

What tips would you give anyone starting their career in health and safety?

There's a whole range of skills you need to succeed in health and safety, and I think the temptation when you start out is to focus on the more technical elements. But actually, the softer side of things, the people skills are as important, if not more important. So, your influencing ability, your presenting skills, the way you come across. So those elements are really important.

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