Monday, December 4, 2023

BUSINESS DIARY . . . events coming up

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Throughout 2023 the Construction Industry Training Board NI (CITB NI) has been working with post primary schools across Northern Ireland on their campaign Build Your Career – a future in construction, which aims to showcase the options and pathways into the construction industry.

CITB NI partnered with W5, with support from Cool FM, to talk to Year 10 students about the construction industry as well as the range of job options and qualifications required. School students heard about construction careers, some interesting facts and had the opportunity to try out construction activities from employers: Henry Brothers, Dawson Wam, MJM Marine and the Department for Communities Historic Environment Division.

CITB NI plan similar events with W5 in 2024 aimed at higher level students. For more information on a career in construction, for students and schools, visit


:: More than 25 organisations from across the cultural and private sectors have been revealed as finalists in the Arts & Business NI Awards, which take place in Belfast in January.

The awards celebrate outstanding creative partnerships and innovative individuals who have gone above and beyond to support Northern Ireland’s creative and cultural sector. Entries were short-listed by a panel of judges which included representatives from KPMG, A&L Goodbody, LCC group, Lyric Theatre and Kids in Control.

Mary Nagele, chief executive at Arts & Business NI, said: “We are delighted to reveal the finalists for this year’s awards. It was a tough task for our judges as we received so many outstanding entries. Our awards shine a light on inspirational arts and business partnership projects from across Northern Ireland, which have connected communities, engaged workforces, reached new audiences and above all showcased the value of creativity and innovation and the important role it plays in our society.”

Winners in will be presented with a specially commissioned award-piece created by professional artist Ned Jackson-Smyth, founder of SmythCast. The award pieces, cast in bronze symbolise partnerships between the arts and business sectors.

The shortlisted partnerships (details at represent a diverse range of sectors which includes retail, technology, transport, media and arts and culture, across seven categories, including Business of the Year and the Arts Organisation of the Year Award which includes a £3k bursary.


Pictured announcing the opening of registration for the 2024 NI Schools’ Business Challenge, which takes place in February, are (from left) Dr Danielle McConville (head of Queen’s Business School’s accounting department), Billy Moore (group financial director at Henderson Group), Bronagh Luke (Henderson Group), Professor Ciaran Connolly (Queen’s Business School) and Laura Jackson (partner at BDO NI)



:: More than 100 school pupils from across Northern Ireland are expected to put their entrepreneurial skills to the test at the annual NI Schools’ Business Challenge 2024, with registrations now open.

The collaboration between Queen’s Business School, BDO Northern Ireland and Henderson Group is supported by CCEA and is open to all Year 13 and Year 14 Business Studies students, with the event taking place on February 5 in Queen’s Business School.

Billy Moore, group financial director at Henderson Group, said: “The Schools’ Business Challenge is an opportunity for business studies students to get a taste of real-world business – and they impress us every year.

“Not only does the challenge arm the students with essential skills and know-how for their further studies and future careers, but it gives us a glimpse into the future of our business leaders to come. I am looking forward to meeting this year’s cohort.”

Building on the knowledge the Year 13 and Year 14 students have gained as part of their business studies course, students will be challenged on the day to turn a business idea or strategy into action through creativity, innovation, and teamwork whilst dealing with real-life problems and situations.

Laura Jackson, partner at BDO NI said: “Nurturing the skills and competencies of our young people goes beyond the classroom, and we believe that the business community should play their part in developing and supporting their practical learning, better equipping them for their future.

“Engaging in experiential learning and project work offers students a different element to their studies, preparing them for entering the job market and enabling vital social and entrepreneurial skills needed in a business setting.”

The initiative will see students challenged to work as a team to develop, in real time, a business strategy based on a case study provided by Henderson Group. The judging panel – made up of representatives from BDO NI, Queen’s Business School, Henderson Group and CCEA – will evaluate each submission and school presentation, with the winner being revealed on the day.

For more information on the initiative, or to register a team(s) for the challenge, please contact Professor Ciaran Connolly at Queen’s Business School at or 028 9097 4796.

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