Top 30 Under 30: Meet the 2024 Leeds and West Yorkshire rising business stars

Leeds and West Yorkshire Top 30 Under 30 have today announced the list of 2024 winners – the first in the region.

This year, 30 of the most talented employees will embark on a prestigious training programme, designed to equip them with the skills towards leadership pathways and ongoing professional development, whilst recognising young business talent in the area.

Thirty young people from businesses across Leeds and West Yorkshire have been chosen to take part in a year-long experience, culminating in a prestigious awards ceremony at the end of the year.

The first of its kind in the region, the scheme aims to recognise and support rising stars within businesses across Leeds and West Yorkshire, inspiring the next generation of business leaders.

As part of the programme, each of the selected winners will undergo 12 months of development in line with the Leadership Excellence Acceleration Programme (LEAP).

The scheme not only equips each winner with the skillset to become effective leaders, but also provides an opportunity for businesses to recognise and invest in their own aspiring, young talent.

Simon Jones, founder of Top 30 Under 30sSimon Jones, founder of Top 30 Under 30s
Simon Jones, founder of Top 30 Under 30s

Simon Jones, founder of Top 30 Under 30s, said: “I am delighted to announce our inaugural winners of the Leeds and West Yorkshire Top 30 Under 30s.

"Today is about recognising and celebrating the contribution of the region’s best young people. This group have made a significant difference to their organisations, to their teams, to the local business community and it is an honour to showcase who they are, and what they have contributed.”

The Top 30 Under 30 scheme first began in the Hull and Humber region in 2017, and has since supported 23 winners to go and become directors, 11 ‘heads of’ departments, three in ‘group’ positions and 63 new managers.

Jack Moore, asged 26, from Hull, took part in the Top 30 Under 30 scheme during 2022, and referred to it as a ‘game-changer for his career’.

Top Thirty Under Thirty Leeds and West Yorkshire 2024 list announcedTop Thirty Under Thirty Leeds and West Yorkshire 2024 list announced
Top Thirty Under Thirty Leeds and West Yorkshire 2024 list announced

Jack, a group marketing and communications manager at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind, said: “Taking part in the LEAP programme had a huge impact on my career progression.

"The various training sessions encouraged me to think differently in my professional life, and armed with the tools and techniques I needed to put into practice to be the very best version of myself.

“As a result, I am more confident, I can communicate effectively, and feel that I am a better leader for my team. In turn, this has enabled me to expand my team, and collectively we are stronger than we’ve ever been before, and it’s all down to the skills I acquired as part of the LEAP programme.

“The Top 30 Under 30 scheme has been a real game-changer for me and my career, and for those businesses who want to invest in their employees both personally and professionally whilst making a real impact – it’s totally worth it.”

The programme provides winners the unique opportunity to further enhance their leadership skills, led by industry experts in leadership, self-development, and communication. It also campaigns to raise awareness around the various career opportunities that are available in the region, including the different pathways to success, and the range of professional industries that operate in the area.

Top 30 Under 30s founder Simon Jones added: “By delivering the Top 30 Under 30 scheme, we hope to create an evidence-based narrative that helps shifts the often common perception that you need to leave the area to climb the career ladder, whereas in fact there are jobs, careers and progressive opportunities worth staying for.”

2024 has seen a significant number of organisations nominate their talent for selection, including the likes of Channel 4, Willmott Dixon and the UK Infrastructure Bank.

I’m looking forward to working with our winners to develop their skillset, says Simon Jones, founder of Top 30 Under 30sI’m looking forward to working with our winners to develop their skillset, says Simon Jones, founder of Top 30 Under 30s
I’m looking forward to working with our winners to develop their skillset, says Simon Jones, founder of Top 30 Under 30s

Simon added : “We’ve been overwhelmed with the interest we’ve had from businesses so far, and I’m looking forward to working with our winners to develop their skillset.

“For most young people, they start a role, and as they progress and become good at doing that particular job, they may get asked to lead other people doing the same or similar role. Because of their ambition, they say yes to this, and eventually step into a supervisory, managerial or leadership capacity without realising the need to adopt a completely different skillset to the one they’d originally developed.

“This overnight manager effect stifles the growth of the individual, the team and the organisation, and this is where our programme comes in. We provide the foundation of skills and self-awareness for these young people to accelerate their leadership understanding and make them more effective in their new leadership roles.

"Having taken winners through this experience over the last six years, we know that organisations are now recognising how important their young talent is to their long-term future and prospects.

“In essence, mobilising and activating Leeds and West Yorkshire’s future leaders is what the scheme is all about, and I can’t wait to take this year’s winners on that journey.”

Winners (in surname alphabetical order):

Joe Allatt, HSL Chairs, Production Manager.

James Antill, Ultimate (Commercial Interiors) Limited, Accounts Assistant.

Fiona Beal, Willmott Dixon, Building Manager.

Harriet Bean, BASF, Process Chemist & Quality Coordinator.

Kevin Boamah, Pell Frischmann, Marketing & Communications Manager International HRIS Manager.

Millie Bradbury, Cox Automotive, International HRIS Manager.

Luke Brewin, Force24, Director of Technical Operations.

Lauren Brookes, Holdson, Marketing Executive.

Becca Cammidge, 4 Studio, Channel 4, Senior Social Strategist.

Emily Clarkson, PPG Architectural Coatings, Assistant Brand Manager, Retail Brands.

Kerry Colt, Magnet, Website Manager.

Lauren Elliott-Cranford, Teem, Global Operations Director.

Rae Evans, Axiologik, Brand Manager.

Fintan Hird, Holtex Limited, Engineer.

Isaac Jones, Sika Limited, R&D Chemist.

Jonah Kennedy, Addleshaw Goddard, Managing Associate.

Chris Loadman, UK Infrastructure Bank, Assistant Director - Portfolio Management.

Olivia Lynch, 4 Studio, Channel 4, Digital Producer.

Isaac Perry, Turner Townsend, Cost Manager.

Rubena Rahman, Hill Dickinson, Associate Solicitor.

Megan Roberts, Esh Group, Social Value Manager.

Bethany Robinson, Bewonder, Operations Manager.

Jack Scanlon, ARC Inspirations, Finance Manager.

Aimee Shann, Wates Group, Group Quality Manager.

Carys Tavener, Bradford 2025, Senior Production & Event Manager.

Jinder Toor, PPG Architectural Coatings, West & Central Complexity Reduction Manager.

Kieran Tucker, Retail Response, Field Service Operations Manager.

Harry Watt, Illingworth & Gregory Ltd (I&G), Site Manager.

Britt Whittingham, Flutter, Internal Communications Manager.

George Wright, C Capture, Process Technology Transfer Engineer.