Workplace and Employment Awards

Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards hits milestone 10th anniversary

Gary McDonald Business Editor
10 March, 2016 01:01

THE Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards initiative is celebrating its 10th birthday - and plans a special twist to its lavish presentation night at Titanic Belfast on June 16.

The awards, first launched in 2007, seek to unearth those exceptional companies and organisations in the north which are focused not necessarily on profit and loss sheets, but on their people.

And this year sees the further evolution of the awards with a new category in Entrepreneurial Spirit, aimed at organisations which have demonstrated an unerring commitment to embed entrepreneurship and encourage their people to take risks to stay ahead of the competition.

The formal WEA launch took place at Titanic this week and was attended by guests from a number of business organisations, who were welcomed by Irish News editor Noel Doran.

Among the guests were representatives of the Workplace & Employment Awards' key business partners - Tughans Solicitors, Kingsbridge Private Hospital, the Department for Employment & Learning, Phoenix Natural Gas, Ulster University, Delta Print & Packaging and venue partner Titanic Belfast.

Also represented were senior officials from the NI Chamber of Commerce, Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Chartered Institute of Marketing and Business in the Community.

The awards have again received ministerial endorsement from the Department for Employment and Learning.

Minister Dr Stephen Farry said: “My Department has supported this initiative from its inception 10 years ago and I personally have been involved for the last five years.

Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards launched at Titanic Belfast

"I am encouraged to see that it continues to go from strength to strength, and I'm particularly pleased that my Department will be sponsoring the Managing Talent Category in this year’s awards."

He added: “These awards recognise excellence in the workplace and reinforce the message that it is our people that are our most important asset. These awards clearly highlight the importance of investing in skills for local employers to grow the economy. I wish all those taking part every success.”

Among the speakers at the launch was Liz O’Hanlon, HR manager at First Derivatives in Newry, which won two categories at last year's Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards.

She said: "We were overwhelmed at the spike we received in social media and recruitment enquiries as a direct result of winning our two awards in 2015.

"The awards recognised a real business leadership and created a feel good factor throughout our business."

The awards take place in Titanic Belfast on Thursday June 16, hosted by the BBC's Karen Patterson.

For entry pack and awards information visit

10 March, 2016 01:01 Workplace and Employment Awards