Applications for this year’s Boardroom Apprentice programme are now open and available on the official Boardroom Apprentice website.

Open to those aged 16 or over from all backgrounds and all abilities, this unique board learning and development programme is looking for a diverse range of Boardroom Apprentices to take a seat at one of 58 host boards (including Developing Healthy Communities!) and attend a suite of learning days throughout the year.

Founded by Eileen Mullan in 2017, the programme is now in its sixth year and has helped 223 individuals across Northern Ireland make their aspiration of sitting on a board a reality whilst helping to diversify boardrooms in the public and third sector.

Eileen Mullan, Boardroom Apprentice founder, said: “I decided to create a programme that brings together three key elements – knowledge and understanding, 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.

“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.”

With support from the Department of Finance, the Boardroom Apprentice provides apprentices with the opportunity to expand their skill set through a suite of learning days on topics such as finance, governance and communication.

Boardroom Apprentice Nikita Brijpaul believed his time in the 2019 programme was just the beginning of his journey.

“It is exceptionally important in encouraging particularly women and ethnic minorities,” he said, adding: “The programme acts as a springboard for those seeking to go on to serve on boards.

“It gives underrepresented groups the self-belief and self confidence that is integral. I think all boards wish to see more diversity however it's exceedingly difficult to recruit, without the support and encouragement of the likes of Boardroom Apprentice.”

2017 Boardroom Apprentice Brendan Morrissey felt that his expectations of the learning days were exceeded and thanks to them, he was able to enhance his skills further.

“My expectations of the learning days were exceeded as it just blew my mind in terms of how much I learned and how much I developed.

“Even my self worth and confidence had developed so quickly over a short period of time. I didn’t expect to feel just as strongly about all of that as I did at the end of it.”

The programme seeks to enable a wider diversity of individuals within boardrooms across Northern Ireland and challenges preconceived stereotypes of the makeup of boardrooms.

Brendan explained: “I think the Boardroom Apprentice is essential because a lot of people including myself think that they haven’t got what it takes but boards are crying out for people and want a more diverse board and this programme is opening a gateway for that.”

“If being on a board giving your time and sharing your skills is something you aspire to do, but are not sure how to do then Boardroom Apprentice will enable you to do just that,” said Eileen.

This year’s programme will run from 01st September 2022 - until 31st August 2023 in adherence to all relevant Covid-19 guidance.

Applications are now open, to apply go to https://boardroomapprentice.com/how-to-apply/

For more information on Boardroom Apprentice go to https://boardroomapprentice.com