Aston University graduates Adam Henderson and Anisa Haghdadi contributed to the Birmingham Future Commission, set up to examine how Birmingham needs to develop to ensure it remains a centre of excellence in professional services and continues to attract and retain talented young professionals.
Focusing on the perspective of the young professional looking to build global standard careers, the Future Commission took evidence, reviewed research data and made recommendations on the conditions and structures required to deliver and support the future development of the business and professional services sector in Birmingham. Adam and Anisa brought a younger perspective to the commissioner panel which included many senior leaders from the organisations including IBM and Deutsche Bank.
The report highlights that young professionals view talent development as "vitally important". This has prompted a recommendation that key stakeholders in the city work together to look at creating a management academy. It also recommends setting up a welcome and information platform for all new young professionals arriving in the city.
The report goes on to recommend stronger links between Birmingham's universities and Further Education colleges and the business community to promote the city's offer for the graduate and young professional.
Anisa Haghdadi (BSc Business and Management, 2012) recognised as Birmingham’s Aspiring Talent 2012 set up her first enterprise aged 15. She has gone on to run a series of ventures including a dance school for disengaged youth called Identity Dance Project and a training company called Fifteen Minute Trainer Ltd.
Speaking about the Commission’s report she said:
"The Commission has highlighted the need to address the ever-looming skill gap by engaging with young people from an earlier starting point. Initiatives such as summer placements for sixth form students and forging stronger links between businesses, education providers and community groups have been strongly recommended to stimulate social mobility and cohesion. The Commission also recognises a shift in the needs of graduates towards feeling fulfilled or “self-actualised” through social responsibility initiatives at an individual and organisational level, work-life balance and opportunities to build connections and relationships."
Adam Henderson (BSc Management and Strategy, 2008), joined Rapier, a leading advertising agency, in October 2012 as Business Director, following four years working at Jaguar Land Rover most recently as Global Brand Partnership Manager within Land Rover and Range Rover. Adam is a graduate of the Marketing Academy, a non-for-profit organisation that has been established to ‘develop the best young talent today into the leaders of tomorrow.’ This experience allowed Adam to be mentored by some of the best CEOs and Marketing leaders and gain in-depth training and insights from leading organisations including Google and Millward Brown.
“What was highlighted from all the research and interviews was that Birmingham is growing significantly as a hub for business growth, not only for the UK, but internationally. Birmingham offers access to globally connected infrastructure, a lower cost base, a rich pool of highly educated young professionals due to the great higher education offerings, a growing native young workforce and an environment and culture that allows a successful career AND a fulfilling life outside of work. However, a proactive approach needs to be taken by the Birmingham business community to ensure this trend continues. One of the recommendations I championed was the ‘Management Academy’ brought about by my experience in the Marketing Academy, which significantly impacted my career, so adopting something like this locally within Birmingham would only be a good thing.”
For more details on the Birmingham Future Commission and the full report, please visit the website: http://birminghamfuturecommission.co.uk/