Home & DIY retailer B&Q yesterday announced the new members of its Youth Board, following a search for what it sees as the nation’s future leaders.
The retailer launched the scheme in an effort to give ambitious young people an opportunity to develop their boardroom skills and 16 finalists were reduced to eight over the weekend during an assessment day.
Finalist were given hands-on tasks as well as an interview by a judging panel, consisting of B&Q’s senior executives and representatives from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, who are working with the company on sustainability and inspiring the next generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future. CEO of B&Q Martyn Phillips, who was promoted to the role earlier this year, welcomed the new recruits.
“I would like to say a huge well done to everyone that entered,” he said.
“The ambition and drive we’ve seen throughout the competition is truly inspirational.
We look forward to starting work with our new board next month.
“Opportunities like this are rare. The Youth Board offers tomorrow’s leaders a once in a lifetime opportunity to influence the way the nation shops and the way we do business.
“Sustainability plays a key role in our development and the Youth Board gives us the chance to bring together young people with the skills and passion to ensure we are fit for purpose.”
The announcement follows news that the British Retail Consortium is to address the Labour Party Conference today, discussing the importance of employment and trainee schemes in the retail sector for school-leavers as an alternative to the expense of university.
B&Q’s Youth Board members are to gain vital experience in creative solutions and will be mentored by company executives as well as members of the Ellen McArthur Foundation.
The group will meet at official quarterly meetings and be tasked with identifying and resolving specific challenges facing the company, culminating in a presentation to the retailer’s entire board in July 2012.
Ellen MacArthur, round-the-world sailor and founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said that, while the role will be challenging, the board have the opportunity to introduce vital changes.
“The Youth Board will set the tough challenge of developing a model for business to continue to thrive in a changing world,” she commented.
“This will require them to be creative, work as a team and interrogate key areas of the business.”