Creating Inclusive Cultures was delighted to partner with Leeds based businesses; Mercer, Pinsent Masons, Hays and the Bank of England to deliver this year’s Junior Board with students from Cockburn Secondary School.

The Junior Board is designed to give young people from diverse backgrounds direct experience with business leaders and employees within local organisations. The programme has two main purposes; for future diverse talent to share their perspectives with senior leaders whilst increasing their workplace awareness and for employers to meet future employees to gain insight on how their culture, practices and processes need to be developed to attract and retain talent.

Charlotte Sweeney, OBE, CIC Founder commented:
“Junior Board gives companies the opportunity to hear young peoples’ perspectives on their organisations and how they are recruiting, as well as a sense of what young people might want from the world of work in the future.”

Feedback from this year’s students highlighted the importance of local business and schools working together to provide young people with constructive work experience. The students commented how it helped them to see what a real workplace looked like and to see that are many different jobs inside one building. They also took away some practical learning points about the job application process, how salaries varied for different roles and how much tax gets taken away!

The sessions also gave students some valuable life skills, such as working in a team, budgeting and organisational skills as well as increasing their overall confidence. They heard how work could be flexible, the value of working with diverse groups of people and importantly, that there are opportunities for everyone.

During the sessions, the students worked with volunteer employees in a series of workshops about the future of work and what makes a dream employer. In the final session, the students presented their findings and provided feedback to senior leaders from the organisations involved.

Fiona Triller, CIC Programme Director said:
“Junior Board started after a discussion around social mobility and why young people from certain areas of the city were not accessing the job market. Several CIC partners then collaborated to provide a unique opportunity for students from schools located in deprived areas.”