By offering individuals the opportunity of becoming an apprentice board member, the twelve-month board placement and training programme, aims to bridge the gap between aspiration and reality for those who want to serve on boards in the third and public sector.
The programme is built on three core pillars:
- the provision of a 12month practical board placement to gain experience;
- the provision of a suite of training to develop knowledge and understanding and;
- the provision of a Board Buddy, to provide that hand holding support throughout the year.
There are over 45 Host Boards from across the public and third sectors (health, education, justice, funding, young people, older people, housing and community), all keen to provide this opportunity for aspiring Board Members. The 2019 Programme will run from the 1st September 2019 until the 31st August 2020.
Recruitment will be open from Monday, April 29th until Monday, May 20th through their website: https://strictlyboardroom.com/apprentice/
Speaking about her experience in the programme, Fiona McMahon, the Social Care Council’s apprentice for the 2018-2019 period said:
‘…meeting my host board for the first time was a positive experience. Staff and Board have been very welcoming and supportive. They have made me feel that there is a good reason for me being there. My buddy (Brenda Maitland) has been helpful in recognising my skills and I am delighted to feel confident enough to contribute to the Board discussions.
I have learnt that I am more skilled and experienced that I thought. I have developed skills in observation and listening. I have learnt not to be scared of finance, audit, assurance and risk. I would, and I have, recommended the Boardroom Apprentice Programme to my colleagues and disability activists. I believe that it is investing in the future of Northern Ireland in a positive and practical way.’
Additionally, the Social Care Council’s Chair Paul Martin shared his thoughts:
‘Fiona was the first Boardroom Apprentice to join our Board and for all Board members it was a really positive experience. Fiona made an excellent contribution once comfortable with the Boardroom environment and quickly established herself as a respected "Board Member". This Boardroom Apprentice initiative undoubtedly adds value to the Board's work and is one we remain very keen to support into the future’.