Co-op scours Yorkshire for young talent as it launches new board

CHANGES IN STORE: Eight seats are available on the new Young Members' Board, which was inspired by the original Rochdale Pioneers.
CHANGES IN STORE: Eight seats are available on the new Young Members' Board, which was inspired by the original Rochdale Pioneers.
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​Young people across Yorkshire ​are being invited to join a new board at the Co-operative to contribute ideas to the group’s senior management.

In a move designed to recognise and harness the inspirational contribution young people have to make, the 16 to 25-year-olds will inspire change and explore new ways to engage future generations of Co-op members. ​

There are eight seats available on what will be a 15-strong board, with one member also taking a seat on the group’s new Members’ Council.

Inspired by the original Rochdale Pioneers – five of whom were under 26 when they founded the world’s first consumer-owned co-operative in 1844 – the Young Members’ Board will meet regularly to discuss their work.

They will take on specific business challenges and projects set by the Co-operative Group board and senior managers and will give feedback on their thoughts and findings to the main board.

Former Asda boss Allan Leighton, chairman of the Co-operative Group, said: “This is an amazing and unique opportunity for young people to help shape the business they are members of to better meet their needs and the needs of their peer group moving forwards.

“It creates a win-win for us all. The successful young members will develop skills and experiences that they can take forward into their future careers, whilst the Co-op gains direct access to the skills and insight of young consumers, who are digitally savvy and socially conscious.

“At a time when there often seems a disconnect between big business and inspiring the younger generation, we are providing a clear means of bringing the two together.”