Workplace and Employment Awards

WEA winners unveiled at Titanic awards bash

Irish News business editor Gary McDonald takes a selfie with the sponsors of the Workplace and Employment awards at Titanic Belfast last night. Included are Professor Deirdre Heenan (Ulster University), Ken McCracken

AN INDIGENOUS financial technology firm and the regional division of a global insurance giant, each employing staff numbers in the thousands, and a modestly-sized architectural practice were among the big winners at last night’s Irish News Workplace & Employment awards in Titanic Belfast. 

First Derivatives, AllstateNI and White Ink Architects each claimed two category victories at the lavish bash attended by more than 550 people, including employment and learning minister Dr Stephen Farry, a long-time supporter of the initiative. 

Newry-based First Derivatives, whose client list included a who’s who of leading investment banks and hedge funds, was named Best Place to Work and also shared the top award for Managing Talent. 

Allstate, which has picked up a number of accolades during the nine years of the Workplace & Employment awards, won the Career Inspiration Award and also added the Global Team award, a new category introduced this year to reflect the sterling work companies are doing overseas. 

And White Ink, formed in 2001 by its three current directors and which has grown to become a practice employing 20 staff and with a turnover of around £1 million, secured both the Innovative Employer and Best Place to Work Awards.

The prize list featured a number of new names to the Workplace & Employment Awards, including Action Cancer NI and the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Other victors included Autoline Insurance Group, Devenish Nutrition, Enterprise NI, CDEnviro, Henderson Group, Eircom, Little Wing Pizzeria, Total Mobile and Homecare Independent Living, while three of the categories went to educational establishments – South West College, St Cecilia’s College and St Colm’s High School in Draperstown.

They were among 20 main category and eight highly commended winners on a record-breaking night for the Irish News initiative.

 “It’s been another tremendous year not only for the numbers entering and attending the dinner, but for the range of sectors represented, and we’re delighted that this year’s Workplace & Employment Awards have been yet another runaway success,” Irish News editor Noel Doran said. 

DEL minister Farry said: “The aims of the Irish News Workplace & Employment awards go hand in hand with the direction set out in my department’s skills strategy for Northern Ireland, and I’m delighted to be continuing our long association with this initiative.” 

The awards were supported by Tughans Solicitors, the Department for Employment & Learning, Power NI, Liberty IT, H3 Health Insurance, Ulster University and Titanic Belfast.

Last night’s ceremony was compèred by BBC presenter Karen Patterson, with input from Dundrum- born comedian Paddy Kielty, who later regaled the audience with an irreverent stand-up routine. 

The after-dinner speaker was Fintan Drury, chief executive of sports management business Platinum One, who has worked with a raft of internationally-known stars in the world of golf, rugby and football.


Workplace and Employment Awards

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