Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Careers campaign has new leader

A campaign which aims to stem the brain drain of young people leaving the North East has a new leader at its helm. Mary Coyle has been named the new chief executive of Aspire, the cultural change programme which is working with employers to raise the aspirations of the region’s young people.

Ms Coyle, 57, joins Aspire from international leadership development organisation Common Purpose, where she has been regional director for ten years.

Ms Coyle’s appointment happens as former CBI Chairman and current chair of the Aspire board of directors, Rod Taylor hands over the campaign to the current regional chair of the CBI North East. The chair will now rotate on an ongoing basis between president of NECC and chair of CBI North East to reinforce both organisations’ commitment to the Aspire campaign.

The changes at the top appear to herald a new approach for Aspire, which saw the departure of Deborah Carrington as its executive director four months ago. Ms Coyle said: “My new role at Aspire will see a lot of worn out shoe leather, grit and hard work in pulling this region together. It is not about glitzy marketing campaigns or talking a good game - it is about making a difference to the lives of all our young people in a direct and practical way, and leaving a long term legacy of active business engagement with the next generation that will run and run.”

Aspire was launched with the personal backing of Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2004, following shock statistics that revealed 60 percent of this region’s young people believed their future lay outside the region.

Business leaders across the region were vocal in welcoming Ms Coyle’s appointment. Chris Jobe, director north east at Northern Rock, said: “Mary’s appointment is just the stimulus needed by Aspire, to take it on to its next stage. In Common Purpose she has demonstrated her fantastic leadership skills and her ability to effectively communicate the message - that true leaders are not born that way, they need to be nurtured and given the opportunity of developing their skills. “In Aspire, she will use her terrific networking abilities to the full advantage of the region’s up and coming leaders - today’s young people. We very much look forward to working closely with Mary and her new team.”

Businesses can sign up to support the work of the Aspire campaign in the region by visiting

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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