Business

Corporate plan unveiled as Belfast Met prepares to launch new business school

Pictured, from left, Frank Bryan, chairman of Belfast Met governing body; Steve McKee, keynote speaker and award-winning author and Marie-Thérèse McGivern, principal and CEO

AN investment of £1 million in upgrading teaching and training facilities at Belfast Metropolitan College will aid the delivery of a new Belfast Business School to be launched in December.

The upgrade at the Springvale campus will accommodate a wider range of digitally delivered academic professional short courses and will be key to the new business school - the first of its kind in the UK.

With a mission to deliver "creative and innovative learning experiences", the new school - the first business school in the north to be administered by a further education facility - will also deliver a range of masterclasses, an example of which was given by award-winning US author, Steve McKee.

Mr McKee, co-founder of Passare, a software-as-a-service technology spin-off which is re-defining the funeral planning industry, was the keynote speaker at the launch of the college's new corporate plan which coincided with the start of its 110th anniversary year.

Sharing his experience on business growth - and how that growth can stall - Mr McKee commended the work of the college in 'leading the city to work'.

"In today's business world it is imperative to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge required for an increasingly competitive and demanding workforce," he said.

"At a time when changing dynamics sees the development of self-driving cars, 3D printing, blockchain technology and the Los Angeles high speed hyperloop which aims to transport people through a tube of air, businesses cannot afford to stay still."

Belfast Met's corporate plan, entitled '16-20 - Leading the City to Work' - sets out ambitions for the future, while championing what Frank Bryan, chairman of the Met governing body, described as its "dual mandate" of economic development and social inclusion.

"This new corporate plan sees Belfast Met, which has an annual turnover of £60 million and injects £40m into the economy in salaries and wages, move forward with a fresh vision," he said.

"It embeds our core values of collaboration, ambition, respect and excellence into the very fabric of our college, shaping everything we do."

The college, which will continue to provide full-time and part-time programmes which are "accessible, flexible and industry-endorsed", attracts over 20,000 learners every year and boasts 37,000 annual enrolments.

Speaking at the launch, principal and chief executive, Marie-Therese McGivern, said the Met made a "colossal social and economic contribution" to the local economy.

"Our college was founded as the Belfast Municipal Technical Institute in 1906 at the height of the city's industrial might and in direct response to the demands of industry," she said.

"We will continue to build on this, working closely with our 500-plus valued partner employers.

"In addition to equipping the city of Belfast and beyond with the skills for work, we are also a £60m business in our own right, providing employment to over 1,000 people."

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