Boardroom Apprentice Paving The Way For Change

 95% Agree Programme Has Improved Diversity Across Boards

The 2023 applications now open for this year’s Boardroom Apprentice, marking the programme’s seventh year of enabling individuals from all backgrounds, abilities and ages the opportunity to learn and gain experience.

Having already helped 277 people turn their dream of sitting on a board into a reality, there is no time like the present to get involved and see your future be altered with the help of the scheme.

The 12 month-long scheme allows participants to immerse themselves in the world of boardrooms and decision making, all while gaining invaluable skills that translate to both their personal and professional lives.

Eileen Mullan, Boardroom Apprentice founder, said: “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.”

Boards from throughout Northern Ireland have taken part in the scheme since it first began in 2017, including the likes of Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland Office, Department For The Economy and many more. 

A recent impact study by independent consultant Dr Tony Macaulay found 100% of all 59 participating host boards from the 2021 programme were satisfied or very satisfied with their Boardroom Apprentice(s).

Similarly, 92% rated the overall credibility of the programme as high or very high, with 98% saying they were likely or very likely to recommend the Boardroom Apprentice Programme to other Boards.

The primary aim of Boardroom Apprentice is to enable diversity and inclusion in our boardrooms. Encouraging everyone, regardless of their background, past career or experience, to get involved.

The impact study identified that 92% of host boards agreed or strongly agreed that the programme is delivering on its vision of bridging the gap between aspiration and reality for aspiring Board Members.

Previous Boardroom Apprentice Alex Deonarine explained that the opportunity was one in which she could not only achieve her own goals of sitting on a board, but inspire others who feel underrepresented in the industry to get involved too.

She said: “If you’ve never seen anyone “like you” on a board before, be the first one. You will never regret it – you will only treasure each and every experience on this journey.”

Duane Farrell, CEO of Relate NI, one of the host boards involved in Boardroom Apprentice, believes the scheme is a great first step for individuals aiming for a career in the public or third sector.

He said: “The programme itself is an amazing opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and experience needed to step into these important governance roles.”

Boardroom Apprentice also prides itself on running a spectacular support system for those taking part in the programme, ensuring that everyone feels welcome and comfortable in their new role.

Upon being assigned a host board, apprentices are paired with a Board Buddy who aids with their progression throughout the twelve-month experience, as well as being allocated learning days and further assistance.

Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland CEO, Brenda McMullan explained that the wealth of support comes from a variety of different sources during the year-long programme.

She said: “Your host board, your boardroom buddy, Eileen Mullan and all the wonderful guest speakers are ready to give you their all.”

Anyone interested in applying for Boardroom Apprentice can do so now, with applications closing at 3pm on Monday June 19.

To apply go the Boardroom Apprentice programme go to more information on Boardroom Apprentice go to

Tina Calder