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UJIA Lead Now programme celebrates its first year
More young people in the UK are reaping the benefits of spending a year working for a youth or student organisation after graduating. On Monday 13 September, Youth Movement workers and Union of Jewish Students (UJS) sabbatical staff graduated from the first year of UJIA Lead Now, a scheme to enable them to realise their potential and build the foundations for long-term involvement in the community.
Graduates from the programme's first year are now carving out careers in fields including business, education and NGOs and spoke about their experiences of UJIA Lead Now, including work placements and goals for the future - hear what they have to say on our testimonial page. The event also welcomed new participants to the programme who heard Brett Wigdortz, CEO of Teach First, talk about creating a movement for social change. They took part in workshops and a work placement fair with businesses and not-for-profit organisations including the Community Security Trust, Mishcon de Reya, Teach First, Tzedek and Pentland fashions.
UJIA Lead Now is a year-long programme which encourages university graduates to spend a year working full-time for a Youth Movement or UJS by showcasing the opportunities that this work provides for their future. Movement work allows graduates to develop their skills whilst helping to build a life-long commitment to the Jewish community. It gives them the opportunity to run a national organisation at the age of just 21 or 22, making strategic decisions, as well as a managing budgets and a team of staff. By leading movements now, they gain the skills and confidence to take on bigger challenges in the future.
Through recruiting and retaining the community's finest talent, UJIA Lead Now is helping to build a generation of young people to lead the Jewish community into the future. In its pilot year, the scheme enabled 24 participants to make the most of their year by providing training, networking and access to unique work placements and mentoring by business and community leaders.
Ruth Green, Chair of the UJIA Lead Now Advisory Board, said:
"Spending a year working for a Youth Movement or UJS is a real investment in the future. As well as promoting lifelong involvement in the Jewish community, UJIA Lead Now enhances participants' skills - and the success of past movement workers is testimony to that. By getting behind our young leaders, we can make sure that our community's most talented young people fulfil their potential and remain involved."