Home Articles & Features Young business professionals urged to enter new South Asian awards

Young business professionals urged to enter new South Asian awards


High achievers from all sectors of business are being sought for a new awards scheme aimed at recognising the skills and abilities of Yorkshire’s young South Asian communities.
The Yorkshire Asian Young Achievers awards (the YAYAs) is the first scheme of its kind set up to recognise the efforts of young people aged 16-30, of South Asian heritage living and working in the county.

Its special focus is on those socially-mobile young achievers who have overcome deprivation and disadvantage or have broken through traditional barriers to progress.

The awards aim to:
• Promote social mobility among young South Asians
• Identify role models to help inspire others from the relevant communities
• Encourage young South Asians to seek out and take up further and higher education opportunities

Working in association with their headline partners, York St John University, the YAYAs are being organised by the Bradford-based QED Foundation, a registered charity which exists to improve the social and economic position of disadvantaged communities in partnership with public, private and civil society organisations. It has been creating opportunities for all since 1990 and all proceeds from the awards will go towards its work.

Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, chief executive of QED, said: “Yorkshire is the big beating heart of the Northern Powerhouse with more than 600,000 BME residents, the vast majority of whom are of South Asian origin.

“Statistics show young people of South Asian origin in Yorkshire continue to struggle to overcome disadvantages in making their way in the world, be that in education, employment or social mobility generally.

“But we know there are many young, dynamic, hard-working young people achieving great things in the Yorkshire business community.

“In all categories, we are seeking to recognise success and effort in overcoming challenges and barriers to progress, be they social, economic, personal or simply the result of traditional or historical attitudes or circumstances.

“In each area, we’re looking for beacons of success and achievement who can inspire others and be the role models that the young people who follow them can aspire to become and even overshadow.”

The award categories include Achievement in Business, Management, Finance or Law; Media, Education; Public Sector; Not-for-Profit Sector; Female Achievement in Traditionally Male Work Areas; Achievement as a Female Entrepreneur; Sport; and Achievement in Overcoming Life Obstacles.

Details of how to enter the YAYAs can be found at the website below. The closing date for entries is Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

Sponsors of the awards include: The RAF, NatWest, the National Science & Media Museum, Barnado’s, KCB, the University of Bradford, Exa Networks, Bradford Council, Trinity College London, Squire Patton Boggs, Sovereign Health Care, Cedar Court Hotels and My Lahore.

The inaugural YAYA awards will be presented at a glittering dinner at the Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford in April 2020.

The keynote speech will be given by Lord Bichard, Non-Executive Chairman of the National Audit Office. He is a former chief executive of the Benefits Agency and was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education and Employment.

Since his retirement from the civil service in 2001, Lord Bichard has held a variety of positions including chair of the Design Council and chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence. He received a knighthood in 1999 and became a cross-bench member of the House of Lords in 2010. He was a deputy speaker of the House for five years.

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