Co-operative calls on young people to join national board

03 April 2013

The UK’s most democratic business today (28 March) announced it was on the look out for young people to help have a say in how the organisation is run.

Fifteen people aged 16 to 25 from across the UK are to be recruited to a new national advisory board that will provide The Co-operative Group

The Co-operative is looking for talented and committed young people to form a Young Members’ Board, which is set to launch at the Group’s annual meeting in May.

Five of the original Rochdale Pioneers, who in 1844 formed the world’s first ever co-operative, based on a democracy that was owned by its customers, with social responsibility at its heart, were under 26 years old.

The Co-operative Young Members’ Board will give today’s young people the same opportunity to inspire change for future generations by driving forward the co-operative way of doing business and helping to make important decisions that will impact upon its 100,000 employees and 5,000 high street outlets and bank branches.

The successful candidates will meet eight times a year in Manchester and will take on specific business challenges set by The Co-operative Group Board, as well as take part in projects with Co-operative employees and senior managers. The Young Members’ Board will share ideas and innovation at the highest level, presenting their findings and views back to the main board.

The Young Members’ Board is part of The Co-operative’s commitment to inspire young people and will provide them with real responsibilities and opportunities to gain new skills, knowledge and experience. It is also a key element of the Co-operative’s on-going Ethical Plan.

Len Wardle, Chair of the Co-operative Group, said: “The Co-operative was founded in part by five inspiring and determined young people and the impact of their innovation led to the creation of a global movement of shared and equal ownership that has fairness and honesty at its heart.

“We want to ensure that young people continue to drive the Co-operative forward in the future and so we are on the look out for the next generation of pioneers to join The Co-operative Young Members’ Board, which will help to shape the future direction of all of our businesses from product innovation through to business development.”

If you want to apply to become part of the Young Members Board, or you know someone who does, visit and apply by midnight on Monday 22nd April.


Additional Information:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over seven million consumers.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies over 50 commitments in these areas.

The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 100,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at