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OnSide’s Talent Academy: Our Aspiring Leaders Graduate!

27th April 2022 by OnSide

OnSide's Talent Academy Aspiring Leaders graduateOur fourth cohort of exceptional participants from across the OnSide Network have successfully graduated from OnSide’s Talent Academy Aspiring Leaders Programme.

Seven members from across the Network;The Hive, Wirral Youth Zone; Legacy, Croydon Youth Zone; Future, Barking and Dagenham Youth Zone; Blackburn Youth Zone; Wigan Youth Zone; and Mahdlo, Oldham Youth Zone – graduated from our 12-month programme.

The Aspiring Leaders programme recognises and develops outstanding performers from across the Network who have great leadership potential to rise through the organisation to the role of Chief Executive and Youth Work Manager. The cohort covered a variety of modules during their time on the programme including, leadership agility, HR and safer recruitment, people management, finance and major donor fundraising and more. Everyone in this cohort completed a placement at a youth Zone within the OnSide Network which is a vital part of this programme. The placement allows the individuals to step out of their comfort zone into a more senior role such as Assistant CEO or Assistant Youth Work Manager to experience new challenges and then go back to their home Youth Zone and implement their learning.

At the graduation event, each participant spoke on how the programme has impacted them, shining a light on the transformational effect the course had on their personal development and supported their current roles. Fahima Iqbal, from Blackburn Youth Zone shared; “I’m now aligning my work to the strategy of the Youth Zone. I’m connecting with other Youth Zones and sharing best practice.”

The Founder of AO.com and OnSide Board member, John Roberts, opened the graduation with an inspiring speech around leadership and self-development. He shared some insightful tips from his own personal experience on how to be an exceptional leader. He also shared his thoughts on the importance of training Youth Workers within the OnSide Network, “The Talent Academy sits at the heart of our success going forward, culture and quality. Youth workers are the ambassadors, the thread through the organisation.”

OnSide’s Talent Academy always strives to strengthen the Network by supporting personal development, and career progression. Throughout 2021, we reached over 500 members of staff through our programmes. We will continue to strive in the future to reach more and continue our impact. We are incredibly proud of our Aspiring Leaders and we can’t wait to see what they go on to do in the future.

If you would like any further details on the Talent Academy, please contact: Ria Meredith, Ria.meredith@onsideyouthzones.org