Dr Christine Braddock becomes president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce today (Friday) and has pledged to help ambitious youngsters connect with business.
The chief executive and principal of Birmingham Metropolitan College succeeds Paul Bassi at the Chamber’s annual meeting today, subject to approval by chamber council.
She said: “I want to use part of my year to promote the link between youngsters seeking work and businesses within the Chamber.
“Graduates will continue to have a difficult time in finding work until the economy starts to improve. But in the meantime, businesses will be keen to maintain their skills levels and that should create opportunities.
“It’s important that we make it easy for youngsters to connect with business. I aim to engage Chamber members in creating internships and promoting apprenticeships.
“We must demonstrate to youngsters what businesses do, explain the required skills, show them how to get into it and make sure they are job-ready in order to face the world of work.”
Dr Braddock was awarded the CBE in the 2008 New Year’s honours for services to Further Education.
She has nearly 20 years of experience in senior leadership of FE colleges and became principal and chief executive of Birmingham Metropolitan College when it was created by the merger of Sutton Coldfield College and Matthew Boulton College of Further and Higher Education.
During her 12 years as a principal, Dr Braddock has managed major change, including the development of skills for business across the region.
Before moving into FE leadership, she worked as a senior adviser for the Home Office, managing and coordinating education policy and provision in 43 Midland establishments, in collaboration with local authorities and FE providers.
Michael Ward, senior partner at HBJ Gateley Wareing LLP, is incoming vice president. He joins Simon Warr, former director at Jaguar Land Rover for communications and public affairs.