A UJIA programme offering graduates the opportunity to combine a year of leadership work with classes in topics such as networking and conflict resolution was launched before an audience of communal and corporate representatives at BDO Stoy Hayward’s West End offices. The Lead Now scheme will also give participants the prospect of an internship in a major firm at the end of their year.
Explaining the background, UJIA head of education and leadership development Dave Brown spoke of the need to provide a structured programme for graduates looking for communal involvement.“Whilst no individual movement can provide a graduate scheme, with our contacts throughout the community we can give youth workers in different organisations a grad scheme with the opportunity to later work in business.”
Labour’s director of general election resources and UJIA adviser Jon Mendelsohn believed the programme would improve the job prospects of participants.“With so many graduates leaving university with identical CVs and work experience, participation in movement work makes a candidate stand out. Managing budgets, dealing with conflict and working with stakeholders are all experiences that help to develop character — one of the reasons why some of the most successful members of our community started out in movement work.”
Another enthusiastic supporter was the Board of Deputies chief executive Jon Benjamin, who said the programme would “help to build the future generation of leaders in our community”.
From the youth sector, FZY director Jack Prevezer stressed that “movement work is a real job with real responsibilities. I have developed a huge variety of skills through my role at FZY and it has given me the confidence to do anything.”
UJIA hopes the first group of scheme members will start in the summer.