Northern Regional College, which has 1300 employees and campuses in Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Larne, Magherafelt and Newtownabbey, is one of 37 organisations from across Northern Ireland awarded with the prestigious Investors in People (IiP) accreditation.
Dr Stephen Farry, Minister for Employment and Learning, congratulated those receiving the business award at a celebration event held in Hillsborough Castle.
The Minister praised recipients, saying: “I am encouraged to see a group drawn from the private, public and voluntary sectors reflecting a cross section of NI employers who recognise the business benefits of Investors in People. Organisations represented today range from those with 4 employees to one with over 2000 employees right across Northern Ireland. This includes businesses from the hospitality, retail, construction, information technology, caring services, engineering, travel, art and photography areas as well as those in the public and voluntary sectors.
“Skills are widely identified as the main component in the modern knowledge-based economy and the skills of Northern Ireland’s workforce have a vital role in helping the country reach its full potential. Increasing the skills of those people already in the workforce is vital if we are to have the skills the economy needs to help it to grow. One approach to developing the skills of our workforce is through Investors in People as it specialises in transforming business performance through people.”
The Minister added: “The message you are sending out to businesses is clear – regardless of size, sector or location Investors in People presents all organisations with the opportunity to improve performance. Indeed 70% of businesses here have less than 50 employees. This places Investors in people right at the heart of the Northern Ireland economy – providing a framework and support for numerous small, private companies to achieve bottom line business benefits. Let us hope that today you serve as an example to other employers not yet capitalising on the benefits of Investors in People. The message is clear – Investors in People specialises in transforming business performance through people.”
Investors in People has long been acknowledged as the most successful framework for business improvement through people. It helps organisations of every size, sector and location to compete and succeed through improved people performance. The approach to its delivery has recently changed, becoming more tailored to individual business needs, with no longer a requirement for a paper trail. The framework has also been extended to provide stretch for all businesses, who can now work towards achieving the core Standard or the recently added Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.
Two of the 37 accreditations included the Centre for Health and Wellbeing who achieved Bronze level and the PSNI Crime Branch who achieved Silver level, both at the time of their first assessments.
In addition, the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland and MACS Supporting Young People were today being awarded for achieving IiP’s new Health & Wellbeing Good Practice Award, which focuses on encouraging organisational improvement through employee wellbeing, rather than just minimising sickness and injury.