business-39-2Allstate NI were among the high-profile businesses, which scooped the gongs at the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards in Belfast last week.


A capacity crowd packed into the Ramada Hotel for the gala black-tie dinner, at which Department of Employment & Learning minister Sir Reg Empey congratulated all the winners for their success in placing a firm emphasis on individuals and their positive contribution to the Northern Ireland workplace.


The prestigious event, hosted by award-winning BBC journalist Karen Patterson, saw 17 main awards being presented alongside 19 commendations. Tim Campbell the original Apprentice winner provided whose attending with an insight into the world of Sir Alan Sugar.


And as well as the blue chip companies honoured, the Workplace & Employment Awards also recognised innovative organisations which are seldom thrust into the spotlight, including Legal Island and Malone Lodge.


“The aims and objectives of these indigenous workplace and employment awards in the business calendar have all been met and exceeded,” said Irish News editor Noel Doran. “The awards have strongly reinforced the message that people are our most important resource in what is challenging times.”


Speaking at the awards, the Minister welcomed the initiative, which aims to promote and reward our key resource ­ people. He said:  “Whether you run a small, medium or large organisation, in the public, private or voluntary sector, people are at the heart of what we do. The skills of our workforce will prove to be a key factor in determining how well Northern Ireland businesses will be able to weather the current economic storm and benefit from the opportunities that will arise during the eventual upturn. Now, more than ever, it is important that employers continue to invest in the skills of their employees.” Sir Reg said that the aims of the awards went arm in arm with the work currently being done through the Department’s Skills Strategy for Northern Ireland,  Success through Skills , as both place an emphasis on individuals and their positive contribution to the workplace.


The awards were supported by KPMG, Tughans Solicitors, Royal Mail, firmus energy and Investors in People and have been endorsed by key industry bodies the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD).


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