North West Regional College has joined forces with Northern Ireland’s five other regional Further Education Colleges to launch a new marketing campaign, “Let’s do Business” to promote their services to local employers and businesses.
The Let’s do Business campaign aims to raise the profile of FE Colleges as a “first port of call’ for businesses who want to re-skill or up-skill their workforce or who are interested in how they can diversify and innovate.
Further Education colleges have a range of funded training and mentoring programmes, bespoke training and initiatives available to local employers who wish to grow their business through increased profitability or product development, as well as budding entrepreneurs who require assistance in turning their business idea into a commercial reality. They can also help with recruitment, accessing funding and technical expertise to bring new products to market
The 6 FE Colleges currently provide a broad spectrum of bespoke business activities and to date have supported over 10,000 businesses. They are a springboard for providing the skilled workforce for the future in terms of Apprenticeships, Higher Level Apprenticeships and work placements.
A new dedicated website, www.yourcollegeni.com has been created to help employers identify the college best suited to their business’s needs, provide information on funding opportunities and establish better collaborative relationships.
Welcoming the new initiative Beverley Harrison, Director of Further Education at the Department for the Economy said: "Further Education’ plays a vital role in enhancing and strengthening the skills profile of Northern Ireland by addressing the skills deficit and so underpinning the creation of a successful regional economy. Further Education assists businesses to innovate and grow so increasing competitiveness across the region. The sector provides a strong collaborative offering across the region aligned strongly to the economic priorities at regional and sub-regional level. I would encourage businesses both small and large to explore they can benefit from the assistance and expertise of the colleges.”
Leo Murphy, Principal and Chief Executive of NWRC said: “The FE sector is committed to creating a globally competitive economy. On a day-to-day basis we are working with businesses right across NI – from the large multi-nationals such as AE Global and E&I Engineering, to the SMEs and micro businesses which are the very heart of our local economy. Through collaboration with the FE sector, businesses can improve productivity, innovation, and creativity to help support a more competitive local economy.”
Melanie Breslin of Primrose which recently created 40 new jobs in the North West when they opened their flagship Restaurant and Delicatessen in the new premises at the iconic T&E Howie building at 53/55 Strand Road, highlighted the support the family run business received from the Business Support Centre at North West Regional College.
She said: “The strong mentoring and collaborative partnership we have with the Foodovation Centre has been invaluable to us.
“We’ve been able to grow from four staff to 78 in five years, and that shows the appetite there is in Derry for quality food made from local produce, and also the potential that’s in this city to succeed as a small business.”