Sophie Cox is the CIOB's Novus Officer, responsible for the organisation's network of young professionals. Here she reflects on the ten years of Novus and what the network has, and continues, to achieve.
When members first came together in a London pub in 2008 and started to discuss what the CIOB could do for young professionals, the concept of Novus was born and little did they know it would continue to go from strength to strength. During Members’ Forum 2013 in Yorkshire, a spotlight was given to Novus and members from across the globe were influential in creating the Novus Global Strategy document and Terms of Reference, cementing its place firmly within the institute.
Novus, the Latin word for new, has continued to provide a ‘home’ for young professionals within the construction industry, creating a network of Tomorrow’s Leaders. With 26 Novus groups set up across the UK & Ireland and 12 overseas, Novus has become truly global with room still to grow! As well as providing young professionals with opportunities to network with both likeminded and senior professionals across the globe, Novus supports individuals with their own personal and professional development; whether that be through chairing meetings at local or regional levels, organising events or attending events such as the Institute’s annual Members’ Forum.
What makes Novus work? Put simply, it’s our members. We often ask our Novus groups why they get involved with Novus and the one thing they say, above their own personal and professional development, is to have the opportunity to give something back; highlighting the passion these young professionals have for the industry. With the skills shortage a current issue, the work our members are doing is fundamental. The effort and commitment shown to developing their individual Novus Groups and to inspire the next generation demonstrates a level of professionalism that is both inspiring and exemplary. Watching our members as they flourish within their careers, progress through Novus and thrive as they move onto their Hub Committee, is truly special.
This year has been a special one for Novus as it celebrates its 10 year anniversary. A range of activities have taken place including a debate looking at ‘The Sustainable Future of the Construction Industry’ which took place during Members’ Forum, a Novus video competition, blogs, and local celebratory events which have been taking place over the last ‘10 days of CIOB Novus’. We were delighted to have Past President Rebecca Thompson FCIOB launching our Novus video competition which was won by the Novus Cambridge Chair, Jamie Young; rewarding him with the opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview with Rebecca. Our members were the focus of our blogs giving insights into what Novus means to them, the importance of the young voice at Members’ Forum and what it’s like to represent Novus at CIOB Board level. A number of celebratory events have taken place across the globe aimed at young professionals including: CPDs on topics such as Mental Health and Suicide Awareness, Who are CIOB Novus, and Black Belt Negotiation; Site Visits; Networking events including Hub in the Pub, Hub on the Beach, quizzes, and golf events; and a Meet the President event, giving an insight into the career journey of CIOB President Chris Soffe FCIOB.
As we come to the end of our Novus 10 year celebrations, we look forward to what 2019 has to bring for Novus and how we can continue to support our young professionals as they embark on their CIOB journey and inspire the next generation of construction industry professionals.