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Scholarships help Waikato directors develop skills

Scholarships help Waikato directors develop governance skills


The Waikato branches of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to give aspiring Waikato directors a chance to receive up to $3000 towards the cost of governance development training.

Applications for the first of two Governance Development Scholarships that will be offered this year are now open and close on 31 May.

Successful applicants will be announced at a special event being jointly held by the two organisations in June with special guest speaker from the British High Commission, Deputy High Commissioner Patrick Reilly.

The scholarships form part of the ‘Governance the Next Generation’ partnership, which was launched in November 2012 by the Waikato branches of the two organisations.
Waikato Chamber of Commerce CEO Sandra Perry said the partnership was successfully addressing a shortage of qualified and experienced directors capable of representing the Waikato region at a national level.

Chair of the Waikato Institute of Directors Margaret Devlin said the professionalisation of the governance sector is very much a current topic with the IoD’s Chartered Director programme currently being socialised with members.

“Many people learn about being a director through practical experience, but there is a demand for formal training that helps people better understand their role and responsibilities which is reflected in the number and calibre of applications we receive for this scholarship,” said Devlin.

Applicants are expected to have a demonstrated commitment to governance and at least five years’ experience at a senior manager or director level.

One of last year’s winners Steve Howse has more than 10 years’ experience in senior management and elected governance roles in organistions including LIC, Hill Laboratories and Synlait Farms Ltd. He was also recognised as the Young Executive of the Year in 2004, and Leader of the Year at the 2010 Waikato Business Excellence Awards.

Mr Howse used his scholarship to complete the Institute’s flagship Company Directors Course.
After attending the five-day block programme in Auckland, Howse said the training has given him a valuable qualification and solid theoretical foundation to reinforce his practical experience.

“One of the significant benefits for me is that the organisations that I represent, both now and in future, can have a lot of confidence in my skills as a director now that I have this qualification. The course itself was broad and covered a number of aspects from reinforcing my current knowledge to developing new skills, and providing new ways of thinking about things,” said Howse.

He said anyone thinking about applying should ensure they talk to their referees as early as possible, and be very clear about why they want to apply and what they will do with the training once it is completed.

“The Institute want to understand your motivations for applying and what benefits you will get both personally and professionally from undertaking further professional development. You may also need to invest some of your own resources depending on the level of training you undertake,” said Howse.

Applications for the scholarships are now open and can be downloaded from the Waikato IoD’s website: iod.org.nz/BranchesEvents/WaikatoBranch.aspx
As well as training, the Institute also provides scholarship recipients with networking opportunities and discussion and exposure to insights from high profile, experienced directors.


-ENDS-

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