The new managing director at a policy think tank that represents ethnic minorities at national level has been announced.
Taking on the role at Northern Asian Power (NAP) Policy Think Tank is Sharon Jandu, one of the co-founders of Yorkshire Asian Business Association (YABA) which was established over ten years ago to provide a voice or the Asian Business community in the region.
The think tank will build a vision towards creating a better environment for business, economic growth and trade as well as committing to creating pathways towards prosperity and bringing together leading experts in Government and academia from all over the world to tap into the highest quality research, policy recommendations and analysis of public policy issues.
The think tank is supported by Lord Rami Ranger CBE and Lord Karen Bilimoria CBE DL, with meetings taking place on a quarterly basis held at the House of Lords.
The think tank will represent Asian voices from across the North of England – not just in Yorkshire – on issues such as trade, health and social care, levelling up, education and skills, and climate change.
Ms Jandu is also the area leader of the Federation of Small Businesses in Yorkshire, the Humber and the North of England as well as a governor at Barnsley College among other leadership positions. She will be stepping away from her hands-on role at YABA to focus on this new venture.
Ms Jandu, said: “The Northern Asian Power Policy Think Tank is an independent policy, advocacy and advisory organisation which is pan-northern rather than just Yorkshire to be more representative of the ethnic minority community in the North of England.
“The whole purpose of the think tank is to put ourselves at the beginning of decision-making processes so we can influence change.”
“It is not just looking at trade, but health and social care, levelling-up, the skills agenda, and climate. Real issues that we feel that our community needs a voice at policy level rather than being policy recipients.
“Northern Asian Power is a not-for-profit organisation; it sits under the Yorkshire Asian Business Association CIT but it is completely different and is the giving-back element of the CIT.
She added: “One of the things I realised is that the Minority Ethnic community are highly active and proactive, but they do not have a seat around the table at policy level. The whole purpose of the think tank is to put ourselves at the beginning of decision-making processes so we can influence change.
“All our meetings will be held at the house of Lords with senior officials so that they actually hear what we’ve got to say as opposed to them making a decision and us having to deal with it, which is what is happening now. There is no point being there if they have already allocated the budgets, allocated the workstreams and the partners; we want to make sure we have a seat at the table.”
The first meeting takes place on the 13 July surrounding the levelling-up agenda at the House of Lords with senior ministers invited.