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New joint venture as Newry & Mourne and Down Councils join forces to build better businesses

Newry & Mourne and Down District Councils are enhancing their working relationship through their joint promotion of the Department for Employment and Learning’s (DEL’s) Investors in People (IiP) programme. The programme, which will receive substantial part-funding from both councils and DEL, will provide the opportunity for organisations in the Council area to participate in a unique, tailored, business improvement programme. This is the first ever such programme in Northern Ireland, where two councils, along with DEL, have all co-operated on a joint basis to offer the IiP group programme opportunity in this manner.

The Investors in People Framework is a proven business improvement tool designed to advance an organisations performance through its people and the programme will offer SME’s located in the Council areas the opportunity to work towards transforming their business performance and gain Investors in People accreditation.

 A recent impact study found that organisational changes made by Investors in People accredited employers are twice as profitable as changes made by other organisations. Benefits realised include increased productivity and efficiencies, enhanced customer service and improved financial performance.  

The improvement programme consists of; an initial diagnostic meeting with a business consultant to establish an active plan to drive business improvement; 5 workshops each with a focus on improving management practice in relation to Strategic Planning; Effective Management; Culture and Communication; Performance Management and People Development; tailored on-site consultancy support; programme materials and an interactive web tool.

Mayor of Newry & Mourne Council District Council, Councillor Diare Hughes stated “Newry and Mourne District Council recognise the value of organisations investing in their workforce to improve their competitiveness. Companies will benefit in terms of improved performance and this will have a positive impact on their bottom line. It is also a positive move forward to work in partnership with Down District Council who will be joining with us under the ‘Review of Public Administration'”.

Chairman of Down District Council, Cllr William Walker added, “In Down district we have been working closely with the Department for Employment and Learning over the last few years to assist our local companies to develop their business, and to achieve the Investors in People accreditation benchmark. We look forward to supporting additional companies to invest in their people in 2015 and to demonstrate their capability to create a vibrant future for their business and for the district. Working together with Newry and Mourne District Council on this programme, we are also looking forward to the future, and laying the groundwork for the new Council”. 

This programme of support has been active for a number of years and has made a positive impact on participating organisations.  Those completing the programme are encouraged to be assessed using the Investors in People framework and, if successful, receive accredited status and are recognised at a presentation ceremony at Hillsborough Castle. Accredited organisations can display and use the covetedInvestors in Peoplelogo in their workplace, internal documentation, marketing materials and importantly, tender submissions.

Joyce Rutherford, Manager of NI Investors in People Unit said “We are delighted to join the two Councils in promoting and part funding the IiP group programme in such a novel manner. The joint co-operation between Newry & Mourne and Down Councils, along with DEL, offers an excellent opportunity for business improvement. Each participating organisation will agree the content of their own active plan with an IiP Specialist, outlining their business priorities, and the workshops and in-house support supplied will offer the best advice and help as companies tackle their individual objectives in difficult market conditions”. 

If you would like to participate on the programme or require more information, please contact Ciara Newell on 028 9090 5351 or email ciara.newell@delni.gov.uk