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How continuous learning and development promotes emerging future talent

One to Watch: Awarded to someone who has demonstrated significant talent and promise in a new role, community or organisation.

Sponsored by Alliance Manchester Business School, the One to Watch category at the Northern Power Women Awards 2022 recognises the leaders, change makers and trailblazers of the future. As well as providing these future leaders with the chance to be celebrated across the North, Alliance Manchester Business School also ensures that emerging future talent across the region also receives the training and support they need to be the best they can be.

The Business School’s senior leader development programme, launched in partnership with Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, achieved exactly that. To find out just how impactful this apprenticeship programme has been, we spoke to two graduates, Lorna Beswick and Jane Macdonald, who both completed the health focused Global MBA at Level 7.

Both Lorna and Jane had completed the traditional training routes into nursing and took the opportunity to improve their operational and strategic understanding alongside their vocational care knowledge. A programme designed to combine academic classes with practical workplace learning, Jane reflected on how hands-on her experience with the apprenticeship was. “I went to meetings, shadowed people, networked with people […] the style of the apprenticeship was really empowering: to be able to go and do different things in the workplace”.

She added:

I found it the most contemporary course I’ve ever done. I was reading the Financial Times and changing assignments on the day I was submitting them. It was so in the moment, so that really pushed me to draw on things in real time and appreciate that the world is very fast moving.”   

Focusing on the more strategic elements of the course and the impact this had on Lorna’s development, she echoed this glowing recommendation, saying: “I’ve learnt more about myself […] It’s led me to be more strategic, it’s helped me to get better at analysing and how I approach my work. It’s given me the confidence and the boost ready to look for the next step in my career”. Now equipped with the theoretical understanding needed to make better decisions in the workplace, she spoke of how she’d “come into work and think “I’ve got this”.  

Already established within their own sectors and careers, both Lorna and Jane spoke of the importance of celebrating promising young talent and early careers; a practice being facilitated by AMBS through their sponsorship of the One to Watch Award category. Jane’s involvement in apprenticeship schemes within her own department has reinforced for her just how accessible and diverse this access to professional development can be: “I’m Director of Learning and development and I lead the apprenticeship team. There’s nothing that’s made me prouder over the last 2 years than to walk into a room of apprentices and say “I’m an apprentice as well” […] We’re role modelling apprenticeships as a learning and development opportunity in businesses.”

As Lorna said, “I can see talent at many different levels, talent isn’t just the senior leaders. Talent can be anywhere, and we have a duty to nurture the talent and grow these people.”  

We are delighted that Alliance Manchester Business School is committed to nurturing such talent, and growing these people, through their sponsorship of the One to Watch Award at the Northern Power Women Awards 2022.