The Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards have been lauded for having developed into one of the biggest and most successful business initiatives anywhere in Ireland.
Now in their seventh year, the 2013 awards will take place in Titanic Belfast on Thursday June 13, hosted by the BBC’s Karen Patterson and, as in previous years, is likely to be a 400-plus sell-out.
The awards seek to unearth those exceptional companies and organisations in the north which are putting an emphasis on developing, nurturing and getting the best out of their people.
Department for Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry was among guests at the formal launch of the awards in Titanic Belfast, where he was welcomed by Irish News chairman James Fitzpatrick.
Representatives of the Workplace & Employment Awards’ six key business partners – Tughans Solicitors, Liberty IT, Investors in People, Kingsbridge Private Hospital, Tesco and Power NI – were also present along with representatives from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), which have again endorsed the Irish News initiative.
Mr Farry said: ‘These awards help to recognise excellence and dynamism in the workplace and clearly support the skills work being taken forward by my department.
Skills are widely accepted as the key raw material in the modern knowledge-based economy and are the key driver in how we in Northern Ireland can achieve our economic goals.’
For the first time since the initiative’s inception in 2007, the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards were also launched in Derry.
The Great Hall at the University of Ulster’s Magee campus hosted guests from the City Council, academia and the north west’s business community.
Professor Deirdre Heenan, the university’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (communication) and Provost (Coleraine and Magee) hosted the launch reception, at which guests were welcomed by Irish News director Anne Sykes.
Marie Lindsay, principal of St Mary’s College in Derry (a past winner of an Irish News Workplace and Employment Award), spoke in glowing terms of the awards initiative and encouraged businesses and organisations in the north west to enter.
She said: ‘We work as a team in St Mary’s, and promoting courses which enable staff to do a better job can only result in pupils having a more rounded learning experience.
‘Managing talent is easy in St Mary’s, because there is an abundance of very talented people here.’
This year’s awards have seen two thirds of the categories significantly revamped, while brand new for 2013 is a special green award, open to organisations and businesses across all sectors, both in the public and private sectors.
For your 2013 entry pack and awards information visit www.irishnews.com/wea