HEAVYWEIGHT backing has been given to a pioneering programme to develop the next generation of Dorset business leaders. 

Law firm Frettens Solicitors and accountants and business advisors Mazars have stepped up to sponsor Dorset Chamber’s Future Leaders programme. 

It is free to join for people aged up to about 30 and has its own committee to set its agenda and decide activities. 

Ian Girling, chief executive of Dorset Chamber, said: “Future Leaders not only provides personal and professional development for young business people, it is also about succession planning for our local economy. 

“Frettens Solicitors and Mazars are both long-standing and highly-committed members of Dorset Chamber with a passion to supporting the development of their younger staff and we are very grateful for their support. 

“This is an innovative and energetic programme that is making a huge impact and I would urge businesses to encourage their young people to become involved.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Ian Girling - Dorset Chamber chief executiveIan Girling - Dorset Chamber chief executive (Image: PR)

The forum’s chair Toni Taylor, who is managing director of recruitment agency Tru Talent, is also a member of the Dorset Chamber board to ensure the voice of younger people is heard. 

Toni said: “The support of Frettens and Mazars will be invaluable in helping us to grow the programme and bring its benefits to even more young business people as they develop their careers.” 

Future Leaders was formed in 2022 after discussions between Dorset Chamber and Mazars, which wanted to develop a business network for its younger employees and support their personal and professional development. 

Mazars is an international audit, tax and advisory firm with offices at Merck House in Seldown, Poole

Lesley Fox, audit partner at Mazars in Poole, said: “We are delighted to continue our longstanding relationship with the Dorset Chamber through our sponsorship of the Future Leaders Forum. 

“We have been involved since developing the initial concept and want to continue to support younger professionals in the business community with their personal development. 

“It’s a fantastic initiative and provides the opportunity for individuals to get together and build new relationships.” 

Frettens Solicitors, with more than 100 staff, was founded in 1978 and has offices in Christchurch and Ringwood. 

Matthew Fretten, managing partner, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Dorset Chamber in their Future Leaders programme, it really is a fantastic initiative. 

“We know how important it is for businesses to invest in the next generation of professionals, and Future Leaders does a brilliant job of highlighting that. 

“It’s clear that the chamber is as passionate as we are about supporting young people in business and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”