Inspire the future

13 March 2012
David Noble, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Purchasing & SupplyIf you’re the parent of a young adult making major career choices, you’ll know many certainties about the transition from full-time education to the world of work have disappeared. A university degree is no longer the automatic passport to a successful career that it was for my generation and indeed, for many, the cost is putting this form of academic excellence out of reach.  Conventional career paths must give way to new approaches to prepare young people for longer and more varied working lives. There is some evidence to show university applications are falling and talented young people are looking for an alternative to equip them for the real world. A professional qualification can fit that requirement. The CIPS Generation Y initiative I announced in these pages last year, and the main thrust of David Smith’s presidential year, is aimed at getting school leavers to actively consider a career in procurement. To do that, we have to inspire them about what they can achieve and give them a pathway to succeed. The best way is by showing them where a career in procurement and supply can take them and our members are that living proof of success. So when David Smith began his year in office by challenging CIPS members to give something back to the profession by investing in its future, this is what he was talking about. Consider the impact Bill Gates made recently as a ‘mystery speaker’ at a south London secondary school. I wonder how many of those pupils will look back in 20 years and say that was a life-changing moment? We want to support you to rise to this challenge. CIPS is partnering with Inspiring the Future, the brainchild of business journalist Robert Peston. This is a service that gets professionals from all sectors and backgrounds into state schools and colleges to talk about their jobs, how they progressed in their careers, and the educational routes they took. So as a CIPS member, get yourself registered on the Inspiring the Future website and get matched to opportunities in your area. There are also CIPS resources ready to be downloaded to get you started. Our Speakers for Schools pack includes a presentation that you can add your own knowledge and experiences to, and a short role play activity to get young people thinking about sourcing goods and services and what this means in reality. And if you do get involved, let me know how it goes. Updated CIPS charter If all goes to plan, at the time you receive this issue of Supply Management, HM The Queen will be formally approving changes to the CIPS Charter. This is the culmination of a year-long project to modernise our governance structure. We will shortly be announcing plans for the election to our new membership representation and advisory body, the Congress. The Congress will be the first global membership representation body CIPS has had since the award of our Charter in 1992. For the first time, there will be a single forum where members from around the world can get their opinions heard and their issues discussed through their elected representatives. Congress’s output – including environmental analysis and the identification of key themes – will feed directly into the strategy planning process. Congress will also include a number of student seats to ensure our strategy takes account of the views of the practitioners of the future. Look out for an announcement coming soon on our website. ☛ If you have any comments or wish to raise a topic, please get in touch at
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