The 2022 Boardroom Apprentice deadline is approaching for people to join the 12-month unique board learning, development and placement programme.
Earlier this week, five Boardroom Apprentices joined Finance Minister Conor Murphy to encourage people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to apply for the programme which enables those who would like to serve on a public or third sector board to learn and gain experience through in-depth learning and support.
Founded by Eileen Mullan in 2017, the programme has helped 223 candidates from across Northern Ireland to begin their Boardroom journey thanks to its support from the Department of Finance.
Eileen Mullan said: “I decided to create a programme that brings together three key elements – knowledge and understanding, experience and support. Over a twelve-month window Boardroom Apprentices will get practical board experience, a suite of learning days and support to fully equip them to serve on a board in the public or third sector.
“Being a Boardroom Apprentice is a gift. You get the programme as a gift with the expectation that you give it back. Being a Boardroom Apprentice is about preparing you for public service, which is about you playing your part.”
Now in its sixth year, the 12-month Boardroom Apprentice programme is a UK first, and applications, which are open to people aged 16 and over, should be submitted by 3pm on Tuesday May 24.
The programme aims to enable a wider diversity of individuals to sit on boards and help move their board member role from aspiration to reality.
2021 Boardroom Apprentice David Johnston said: “Being part of the Boardroom Apprentice programme has been a privilege. For me it has reinforced the importance of being motivated and committed to enhancing public service delivery.”
Throughout the 12 months, candidates are required to take part in regular learning days on topics such as finance, governance and complete a board placement on a host board.
2019 Boardroom Apprentice May Cheung added: “My placement allowed me to get an understanding of the boardroom environment, how it worked and the pressures they’re under. You see a lot of what’s going on in the headlines and understand the public opinion.”
2020 Boardroom Apprentice Jo McGinley revealed her experience with the training days helped shape who she is today: “The training was top class. Each facilitator who led the training is as passionate about the ethos of Boardroom Apprentice as Eileen is.
“My time on the Boardroom Apprentice programme fundamentally changed me. I’ve transformed as a person.”
2020 Boardroom Apprentice Nikita Brijpaul said the programme “demystified the boardroom experience” and taught him to “trust in my instinctive leadership abilities”.
He added: “It has given me the confidence to believe that with time, an open mind and practice I have what it takes to be successful in the boardroom environment.
“It gives underrepresented groups the self-belief and self confidence that is integral. I think all boards wish to see more diversity however it’s exceedingly difficult to recruit, without the support and encouragement of the likes of Boardroom Apprentice.”
2019 Boardroom Apprentice Roisin Kelly added: “Anybody could sit on a board and will have something to contribute if they’re interested in that board, in that organisation and what they do.
“You don’t have to have 30 years of experience in senior management in an organisation. You don’t have to come from a big private sector firm. You just have to have your own life experiences.”
This year’s programme will run from 01st September 2022 – until 31st August 2023 in adherence to all relevant Covid-19 guidance.
“If being on a board giving your time and sharing your skills is something you aspire to do, but are not sure how to do then Boardroom Apprentice will enable you to do just that,” said Eileen.
For more information on Boardroom Apprentice go to https://boardroomapprentice.