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A word from the Chair: August 2016

News Categories: future

As someone who has been a member of Birmingham Future for the past eight years, it’s a real honour to be writing my first ‘A Word from the Chair’. Having watched the past seven Chairs – Amanda Porter, Darren Walker, Gareth Morgan, Nicola Fleet-Milne, Suzie Branch-Haddow, Michael Shepherd and Becky Simkiss – in the role, I know that I have some big shoes to fill but I promise to lead you for the next 12 months with the same passion, dedication and enthusiasm as the fantastic Chairs I’ve seen in place during my time as a member.

If you joined us at The Handover last week – again, a big thank you to Hyatt Regency Birmingham for hosting and Gowling WLG for sponsoring the welcome drinks – you will have heard me talk about my passion for attracting, nurturing and retaining the best talent in the city.

Future’s work in attracting talent goes right back to schools and our Business Walks and Dragon’s Dens initiatives. We will build on the success of Professional Services Week and ensure that we’re promoting the breadth of roles across the BPS sector, including the launch of a new careers service that will be delivered by trained Future members, giving schools a pool of talented professionals to bring into classrooms and teach students about the opportunities that lie in Birmingham.

Future has always developed the professional skillset of young professionals, in the early stages of their career, and I am working with our Development Committee to further refine our professional workshops, events and programmes to make sure that we’re giving value to our members by offering skills development that they need and want. But what you need at the beginning of your career is very different to five and 10 years’ in, so we will also be delivering new tailored events and initiatives for more experienced young professionals – what I call the ‘Emerging Leaders’.

Hopefully you will have heard all about the BPS Birmingham Future Leadership Development Programme, which we are launching in partnership with Aston Business School. This programme is free and exclusively for Future members, helping to develop core leadership skills and style with a series of evening sessions. Head over to the website to find out more but join us at Gowling WLG on Wednesday 7 September for a briefing and chance to meet the academics running this amazing course.

In addition to the BPS Birmingham Future Leadership Development Programme, we are also launching a Reverse Mentoring scheme, in partnership with Colmore BID. This will be delivered through the Future Mentoring Academy, alongside our existing schemes, and gives our more experienced young professionals the chance to mentor a senior leader. Don’t forget that our next cohort of Aspire Mentoring and Future Mentoring is also about to open, so get yourself onto the website to register your interest.

Supporting ‘Emerging Leaders’ really sits at the heart of my year as Chair, as well as continuing to deliver the amazing development and networking opportunities we already do. I want to do this in collaboration with other fantastic organisations doing great things across the city and region; if we work together we are better equipped to deliver value to our members and we will have a greater impact working together to ensure that Birmingham’s BPS sector attracts, nurtures and retains the best talent.

Thankfully, I won’t be delivering all of this on my own. I have the BPS Birmingham Exec Team, as well as the amazing Leadership Team and their dedicated committee members. Put together with the entire Future membership, working alongside BPS Birmingham Aspire and BPS Birmingham Leaders, and the influential BPS Birmingham Board. I am really excited to be going on this journey with Kathryn Small, Business Development Manager at Gowling WLG, who was announced as Future’s new Deputy Chair last week. Plus, I know the role that my amazing team at EAST VILLAGE. will play, holding down the fort and keeping our clients happy.

I guess that leaves me to say a huge ‘thank you’ for accepting me as your new chair. I am ready to hit the ground running and get started with these ideas and initiatives, in a year that is all about GROWTH – growing Future’s impact, voice and offer. We will continue to develop the skills of young professionals, drive the leadership qualities of our emerging professionals, and reach out to the talent of tomorrow. Most importantly, we will continue to add value to our members, their employers and the BPS sector.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any great ideas or want to get more involved – my year as Chair is all about you guys, the members, so drop me a line anytime.