Kirklees Council officer Siraj Mayet is celebrating after becoming ‘HR Champion of the year’ at the European Diversity Awards in London.

Siraj, who is a HR partner for apprenticeships, won the award for ensuring that the values of diversity and fairness are at the heart of Kirklees Council’s HR policies.

Siraj has been described as an ‘unsung hero’ as he champions the importance of opportunities for those from all protected characteristics, recognising that different approaches are needed to reach a diverse range of residents.

His initiatives have included organising and delivering programmes in community venues, especially in communities where ordinarily people may not believe a council apprenticeship is right for them.

Siraj is also a founding member of the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employee network at Kirklees Council.

Additionally, he was instrumental in the refresh of all the diversity networks, including the disabled employee, young employee, working carers, and LGBT+ networks.

Clr Shabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council, said: “I’m so proud of Siraj for winning this prestigious award, Siraj makes a huge difference in all the work he does.

“Siraj promotes inclusivity and diversity across all of the projects he works on and it is thanks to his passion that residents from disadvantaged groups have significantly more access to opportunities.

“His team describe him as an ‘inspirational leader’ and I speak for everyone at Kirklees Council when I say congratulations and very well deserved.”

Clr Shabir Pandor

Kirklees Council had also been shortlisted in the category of ‘Community project of the year’ for their work on the Iroko project.

The Iroko project is an innovative eight-month community-led initiative seeking to uncover inequalities that the black African and Caribbean community experiences in society.

The project has been delivered in partnership with the black community who have described their lived experiences, their challenges and their strengths and identified the steps and actions they feel will bring about impactful change.

Clr Pandor has spoken passionately about all the great work being undertaken by Kirklees Council that often goes under the radar and says that entering awards helps highlight the positive and successful work that is taking place.