A UK first, the Boardroom Apprentice is a 12-month unique board learning, development and placement programme which enables those who would like to serve on a public or third sector board to learn and gain experience through in-depth training and support.
Founded by Eileen Mullan in 2017, the programme is now entering its seventh year and has helped 277 candidates across Northern Ireland to begin their Boardroom journey thanks to its support from the Department of Finance.
Open to those aged 16 or over from all backgrounds and all abilities, the programme seeks to enable a wider diversity of individuals to play their part within boardrooms and helps move the board member role from aspiration to reality.
Eileen Mullan, Boardroom Apprentice founder, said: “I decided to create a programme that brings together three key elements – knowledge, 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 in the future.
“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.”
Boardroom Apprentice Alex Deonarine who was placed with the Department of Health said: “Being a young, mixed race girl, I initially felt as if there was no room for me at the boardroom table.
“I didn't understand my potential and often questioned 'what's the point?' or 'what do I have to bring?' What I learned was that anyone and everyone can serve on a board, it just takes confidence and believing in yourself."
During the year, each Boardroom Apprentice has to attend eight learning days on topics such as finance, communication and governance along with the board placement on a board of their choice, matched by both Eileen and a selection of former apprentices.
For more information on Boardroom Apprentice go to boardroomapprentice.com