Why every graduate should become a trustee says Trustees Unlimited

To mark Trustees Week (7-13 November 2016) Trustees Unlimited, one of the UK’s leading trustee recruitment firms, is urging undergraduates and graduates to become trustees.

The company believes that not only would graduates gain skills that would enhance their employability but that serving on a board and understanding how a charity is led and governed would enable them to better adapt to a fast changing work environment.

Ian Joseph, CEO, Trustees Unlimited explained, “A job for life no longer exists. Portfolio careers are on the rise and graduates need to have a fluid approach to work as they will be changing roles and industries regularly. They need as many transferrable skills under their belts as possible. Gaining board level experience early on in their careers accelerates the acquisition of skills and experience which they would not typically acquire until much later on in life.”

“However, charities stand to benefit by taking on young people who are aware of market trends and who could potentially offer decades of experience to the charity sector. Whilst there is in some quarters a resistance to take young people onto boards, the investment will reap dividends.”

Joseph highlights that today’s graduates expect to work for an average of six employers although he thinks this number will be trebled by the time people born today enter the workplace.[i] He also believes that many will work in a freelance or self-employed capacity for their entire careers.

He says that having a trustee role could help graduates develop the soft skills which are required to adapt to the fast evolving world of work where organisations seek to recruit people for short-term contracts often off-payroll; the skills developed as a trustee improves the ability for individuals to work with people in different organisational cultures.

He also highlights there is a big appetite for volunteering amongst young people that the sector isn’t tapping into. The ‘More to Give: London Millennials Working Towards a Better World,’ [ii] report published last year by City Philanthropy and Cass Business School, suggested 53 per cent of under-35s working full time in London want to volunteer more than they currently do and this figure rises to 60 per cent in the 18-24 age group.

The report also found that Millennials don’t want to just give money to charities, they want to apply their professional or business skills to help organisations, understanding that they in turn will gain experience that will benefit their work and personal lives.

Joseph concludes, “Today’s charity boards are still too male, pale and stale. Graduates could bring fresh ideas, energy and good social media skills to the table. They are also future business leaders and investing in them early on in their careers could lead to them being a trustee and giving back to society for their entire working lives. Moreover, if we have a generation of young people with board experience, it could turn the dial on our GDP in years to come – think of it, tens of thousands of people who will have honed board skills and acquired learning from others over their lifetimes.”

“I believe that becoming a trustee should be on the agenda for all undergraduates and graduates, but for this to happen more needs to be done to raise awareness of the benefits of becoming a trustee and charities need to invest in reaching out to new graduates.”

[i] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/11975788/Britons-in-the-workplace-The-figures-that-lay-bare-the-life-of-an-average-British-employee.html

[ii] http://www.cityphilanthropy.org.uk/sites/default/files/user-uploads/final_m2g_report.pdf

Leave a Reply