As part of our celebrations for ten years of Novus, we caught up with two members who represent Novus on CIOB Board’s. Jessica Lloyd is Assistant Project Manager at Mott MacDonald, part of the Bristol Novus Group, and has been on the CIOB’s Business Development Board (BDB) since August 2018. Dean is Project Manager at Mace, Chair of the Truro Novus Group, and has been on the CIOB’s Education, Qualification, Standards and Practice (EQSP) Board since October 2017. We asked them both what Novus means to them and why giving a voice to the young professional at Board level is important.
Why did you join Novus?
Jess: I joined Novus after being invited to join the Hub by the CIOB at my graduation ceremony as the local Member Services and Events Coordinator (MSEC) was there to congratulate me on winning the CIOB Certificate of Excellence Prize. I was more than happy to be a part of and learn more about Novus and the CIOB. I also wanted to meet likeminded people who also want to ensure that the younger generation are encouraged to join the industry.
Dean: For me, initially, joining Novus was somewhat of a step into the unknown. I hadn’t heard of them prior to also being contacted by the local MSEC. My predominant reason for becoming a part of Novus was because I feel it necessary to act as an advocate for construction and hopefully assist in changing perceptions.
Why did you want to represent Novus at Board level?
D: Changing the way that construction is marketed to the next generation of construction professionals is important to me. I wanted to be involved in discussions to highlight the ideas that Novus members have across the country.
J: I’m the same. I feel very passionately about my career and want to ensure that others like me have the opportunity to see what a fantastic and diverse industry the construction sector is. I want the chance to help shape, communicate and monitor the outcomes of the Novus group and help the business to develop this area of the CIOB. By representing Novus on the board, I feel I have the ability to influence how Novus will operate and this will also allow me to encourage others to join the industry and the CIOB.
What do you see as the opportunities, for you and industry, by being on the board?
D: Being able to represent Novus at board level shows the CIOB’s continued commitment to listen to Novus Groups and, more importantly, embrace our ideas and suggestions. Being on the board has helped me to obtain a far better awareness of the inner workings of the CIOB and greater understanding of the challenges that are forthcoming.
J: I’m fairly new to the board so I am waiting to see what opportunities may be available; however at this early stage of my tenure I have already had the opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings on various topics, whilst also raising questions and concerns about how the CIOB approaches certain items. I hope to positively influence the industry by encouraging younger people to join the industry, and also question some of the regressive thoughts and processes that seem to be instilled within the industry.
What do you see as the challenges to being involved as a young professional?
J: Ensuring that younger voices will be heard, and that the industry is welcome to change. We have to be encouraging people to join the trade as they may not understand the various roles that are involved.
D: I don’t believe we face any additional challenges as such and, in my opinion, young professionals are taken on face value. It is our responsibility to prove ourselves through commitment and passion for what we do.
What are the consequences/risks of not including young professional’s at every level throughout the industry?
J: By inviting younger professionals to take part at every level of the industry, we can bring about change and question the processes that are already in place. Without this approach we may struggle to retain and recruit the younger audience, both as professionals and trade experts.
D: Every generation of construction professional brings new ideas which will help the industry to continue evolving, for example BIM. Whilst someone with significant experience in the industry will have the knowhow and understand buildability a recent graduate may have a far better understanding of BIM, I believe collaboration both with colleagues and individuals outside of our retrospective organisations is key.
What is your response to those who say you can only make a difference if you have years of experience?
D: In my opinion it is not the number of years’ in industry but the quality of the experience gained. I have been fortunate enough to work alongside some great professionals within Mace and my involvement in the EQSP board has allowed me to meet various other role models.
J: By listening to those that have less experience and then explaining why we do what we do and the reasons why we can start to question our mind set, this can lead to self-questioning and then, in turn, exploring different approaches to how things are done.
What do you hope to see change by being involved at Board level decisions?
D: There are no significant changes or overhauls that I want to see, it’s more about modifications and considerations for how decisions made by the CIOB and industry impact those at the start of their career in construction.
J: I’d like to see changes to how the CIOB interacts and shapes Novus moving forward and how this in turn encourages the younger generation to join the industry. I also want to see if changes are made within the CIOB to encourage those that have been involved with the industry for many years, but have not decided to go down the university route, find it easier to become members.
Would you encourage others to follow in your footsteps?
J: Most definitely, I have experienced and encountered lots of people from various roles within the industry and I am continually learning how diverse the industry is. Joining both the Novus Group and the BDB have allowed me to reach out to those outside of my current role and also led to gaining additional respect from those that I work with.
D: Certainly, I have found my first year on the EQSP board to be extremely rewarding; I have gained an insight while being actively involved in discussions. It has also been great to meet construction professionals from various disciplines who I would not otherwise of had the chance to network with.
What do you want to achieve next?
D: In March I will become the Chair of the Novus Europe Regional Group which is something that I am very much looking forward to. My next target is to achieve Fellowship status with the CIOB. My efforts with Novus will help to evidence my influence within the wider sectors whilst also demonstrating my leadership skills. Mace have been extremely supportive of my various roles with Novus and I hope that my progression within CIOB will coincide with my continued development at Mace into a senior manager position.
J: I want to continue to be heavily involved with the CIOB past my tenure and I hope that I can start to shape how the CIOB will move forward.
To find out more and become involved in Novus, click here.