CIH Futures: building a career in housing

Neil Goodrich, Chair, and Evie Copland, Vice-Chair at CIH Futures, discuss how the CIH Futures is enabling more people to build a career within the housing sector.

CIH Futures was set up as an advisory panel to the Chartered Institute of Housing in spring 2017. The panel quickly evolved into a formal board made up of young volunteer housing professionals from across the UK.

We continue to pioneer housing as an exciting place to apply knowledge, skill and ambition – supporting the CIH to build sector appeal to bring the best talent to housing (see box, below right). “I fell into housing” is a common, but clumsy and unconstructive way often used to describe an arrival into a sector that many love working in.

One of our biggest tasks as a board is to grapple with the fundamental challenge of reaching those places where housing careers are completely unheard of. Our offer to new professionals has grown significantly in the past 18 months. Our team became the driving force behind Housing 2019’s Delegate of the Future event, also hosting a warm-up welcome networking session the night before.

Contributors to our Futures50 blog series joined the programme, presenting their own professional expertise as a key part of the conference agenda. Futures50, as a concept, has been incredibly well received by the housing sector. The full series can be viewed at http://medium.com/@cihfutures – where countless young professionals are beginning to make their mark.

Jet boosters

When developing talent within the sector, it is easy to focus on large, one-off opportunities. Many are excellent to put jet boosters on career development. Yet whether you are developing an individual, a team or an organisation, the small, everyday stuff matters as much as the big-ticket items. Our remit has grown from day-to-day career development, to supporting young professionals into their first board position.

We are keen to ensure that we use our platform for good and help as many as possible to develop their careers

Yarlington Housing Group was the first organisation to proactively seek a young professional, offering a first-class development package for the post, and Saffron Housing Trust followed suit. We welcome the chance to support organisations with similar initiatives.

Outside In Strategy

All of our work this year has supported the upcoming launch of our Outside In strategy. This sets out how we will be more inclusive as a board, giving more opportunities to those building their careers to help them flourish. This is a commitment from us, already being honoured by a few leaders in the sector as well, that whatever events we are invited to, and whatever projects we are involved in, we will share our platform.

At CIH Futures we will do our bit, but the organisations and people that make up this great sector need to do theirs too. We look forward to working together towards that aim.

For more information on CIH Futures, visit www.cih.org/CIHFutures

 

To discuss this article, contact Greg Campbell: greg.campbell@campbelltickell.com

This article is also featured in the latest CT Brief – Diversity focus

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