Business

Queen's University remains an integral part of business community

Isabel Jennings, director of marketing, recruitment, communications and internationalisation at Queen's University Belfast

THE Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards are all about celebrating success and recognising excellence - and that is why Queen's University says it is is proud to be a returning sponsor for 2019.

The awards provide an ideal platform for organisations across Northern Ireland to profile their achievements and progress, while also allowing companies – and their employees - to reflect on recent successes, according to Isabel Jennings, director of marketing, recruitment, communications and internationalisation at Queen's, which is one of the leading universities in the UK and Ireland, with a distinguished heritage and history.

The university continues to build on its reputation as a world-class international university that supports outstanding students and staff who work in the highest standard of facilities, conducting leading-edge education and research.

At heart is a focus on the needs of society and celebrating people - a theme echoed in this year's Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards, which take ‘Talent Equal Success' as its central theme.

“Celebrating people is at the heart of the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards - after all, it is people who define and drive any organisation,” said Isabel.

“At Queen's, we introduced our ‘People First' strategy last year. Its three pillars - Experience, Culture and Talent – focus on providing an attractive experience for our 3,700 staff and allowing them to develop to their full potential, in a culture which they enjoy.”

It is a culture underpinned by diversity and inclusion, with the university a member of The Athena SWAN Charter, which encourages and recognises commitment to gender equality.

Academics at Queen's are making a global impact through ground-breaking research in many areas including food security, healthcare, politics, peace studies, cyber security, technology, human rights and astrophysics.

Last month, a team of researchers at the university's Centre for Wireless Innovation won a global award for their work in creating a solution which will reduce the cost and complexity of the 5G mobile network.

They were presented with their award at Global World Congress – the largest and most important gathering for the mobile industry in the world.

“At Queen's, we consider the university an integral part of the business community,” Isabel continued.

“We work closely with businesses across the sectors in Northern Ireland.

“We know that the Northern Ireland economy will grow through education, skills and innovation, which in turn drives business development and growth.”

Queen's has already been deeply involved in the Belfast Region City Deal, which will play a pivotal role in growing the local economy over the next 10 years.

It presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Northern Ireland, a real chance for a step change.

“There are three aspects which are central to the long-term success of the deal: innovation, partnership and workforce skills,” Isabel explained.

“In terms of innovation, cities and regions rely heavily on universities as drivers of research and innovation.

“Higher education is an important engine for economic growth in Northern Ireland. An independent report last year by London Economics found that Queen's University contributes £1.9 billion to the local economy and, as well as employing 3,700 staff, supports a further 2,570 jobs across the UK.

“Queen's is a driver of innovation and talent based on excellence and the university is one of the most successful universities in the UK in terms of spin-out companies and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.”

As a university in the top 180 in the world, she said Queen's was committed to strengthening relationships between industry and the education sector and was continuing to train the next generation of experts for the modern world by embracing global megatrends, including AI and Big Data.

:: Entries for the 2019 Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards will remain open until Friday May 3, with the finalists being announced on Thursday May 16. More details at www.irishnews.com/wea. Follow us on Twitter at @irishnewsWEA

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