Our very own Managing Director, Tara Tomes, has taken over as Chair of BPS Birmingham Future.

In a speech delivered at the dinner Tara, who has been Deputy Chair for the past year, announced her Deputy for the year ahead as Kathryn Small, Business Development Manager for Gowling WLG.

During The Handover event, members heard from both Rebecca as she reflected on her year as Chair and from Tara who will set out her vision for the next twelve months.

A new and exciting initiative in partnership with Aston Business School was revealed, giving Future members the opportunity to develop their leadership skills.

Applications are now open for the Birmingham Future Leadership Development Programme. During its first year, the initiative is looking to recruit up to 30 young professionals to take part in the nine month Programme. Free and open exclusively for BPS Birmingham Future members, the programme has been designed for professionals already in, or moving to, a senior position within their firm and with at least six years’ commercial experience. There will be nine sessions in all and the Programme will cover a wide range of techniques and modules to develop leadership skills and style.

Reflecting on her year in office, Rebecca Simkiss, joint managing director at Birmingham city centre based recruiter SimkissGuy Recruitment, told members that continuing to make membership of BPS Birmingham Future relevant for today’s young professionals had been a major theme during her year and work developing the membership offer had resulted in an increase in the organisation’s membership. She also talked about the importance of Future’s work mentoring young professionals currently employed in the sector but also through its work with BPS Birmingham Aspire offering the same opportunity to young people just starting out on their careers.

Looking back at the first Professional Services Week, which took place in June, Rebecca commented;

“This summer saw the first Professional Services Week. An initiative created to specifically find effective ways in which to engage with young people residing in the city’s schools, and provide them with an opportunity to sample what we called the three d’s.Firstly, to demystify our sector. Secondly, to demonstrate the wealth of opportunities available, and provide hands on skills training. And finally to discover – and this we achieved by holding the sessions at offices of our member firms, bringing young people into the heart of the business community.

“It is already clear that Professional Services Week was a huge success. It delivered on all our core objectives, and schools who participated are already talking to us about how they can be part of next year.”

She summed up her year in office; “Life is full of surprises and you can never really predict the future. But there is one future I can predict with confidence. And that is BPS Birmingham Future.

“We will remain a strong, vibrant community of young professionals, passionate about our sector, passionate about the city in which we work, passionate about developing as individuals and about supporting those younger than ourselves preparing for their working lives, passionate about meeting new people and having some fun and passionate that collectively we can make a difference.”

Incoming chair, Tara Tomes, will set out her ambitions and objectives for the year ahead and will talk about the importance of keeping up the momentum of Future’s mentoring activity and further work in building the skills and confidence of the sector’s emerging leaders.

Commenting on taking up the role Tara commented;

“It is a real honour to be taking over as Chair of Birmingham Future. Being a member of Future has played an integral part in my career progression during the past eight years so I know, first hand, how important membership is to young professionals, their employers, and the sector as a whole.

“I have a wide ranging set of objectives to achieve during my year, not least ensuring that our newly launched Leadership Development Programme is a great success. I will add to Future’s existing offering with new opportunities for our more experienced members, in addition to building upon our activity in schools. I am looking forward to working with the BPS Birmingham team to deliver another Professional Services Week in the 2017, as it is vital that we do everything we can to engage with schools in a sustained and relevant way and promote the opportunities the sector can off in the future. It is important that provide opportunities for students, from across the city and region and a range of backgrounds, to come and experience the life that we live every day. We need to break down barriers and showcase what happens behind these big glass windows, to open the minds of the future BPS talent.

Tara added;

“BPS Birmingham Future has a major role to play in not only supporting young professionals working in the sector now but in facilitating their development as they progress their careers, in addition to identifying, nuturing and encouraging young talent for the future prosperity of our growing sector.”

To find out more about Birmingham Future, visit bpsbirmingham.co.uk/future

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