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Ards And North Down

New Human Resources & Recruitment Consultancy Settles Into Ards HQ

Human resources specialist consultancy, People HQ, has opened new offices in the heart of Newtownards to further advance the business ambitions of its clients.

Founder, Greg Quinn, said the opening of the new office represented the latest stage of the evolution of People HQ and its range of services.

“When I created People HQ in 2019 I always wanted to make sure we had a physical presence,” he explained. 

“Opening the office in The Precinct is a statement of intent to new and existing clients that we will continue to offer the full range of human resources services.”

Throughout the current lockdown Greg has been on call for his clients offering a variety of services in human resources, recruitment, training and development.

“We serve clients of all sizes across multiple sectors, including the fast moving consumer goods, manufacturing, retail and hospitality sectors where we have been busy helping both our clients and candidates navigate their way through the pandemic,” said Greg. 

“I opened People HQ with the vision of wanting to help businesses across every aspect of the employee life cycle and thats exactly what we have been doing. If a business owner has a HR or recruitment problem or they need support with team development my team can help. I penned the strapline ‘We’re the HQ for HR’ when I started the business, we have delivered across all fronts for many clients to date and look forward to helping more as the business grows..

“This past year has been a challenge for many business owners, never before has looking after their teams been so important. Even if tough decisions have to be made, I am right there with business owners to help them make those decisions and ensure a fair process is followed. ”

The new People HQ offices represent a £30,000+ investment, and means that Greg and his team will be able to provide their holistic HR and recruitment service across Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland.

“We chose Newtownards as after 25 years in industry I wanted to bring my knowledge and skillset to help those businesses that I shop in daily,” he explained. 

“We are also the first established Human Resource & Recruitment Consultancy on the high street in Newtownards.

“Our location allows us to easily serve our current clients as well as established a growing client base around North Down and beyond.”

Greg said that at this time good professional advice has never been more important.

“The current business environment means that business needs to plan ahead, make decisions and ensure their strategy and actions are taking advantage of every opportunity available,” he explained.

“We have found that employees still in post have had to adapt to new ways of working, whether than be due to working from home or having a blended home and office working week.

“Client organisations had to move very quickly to ensure employees had the relevant home setup to conduct their roles effectively. Communication with teams has never been so important, at People HQ we worked with numerous clients to help them work with their team communications.”

You can find out more at peoplehq.co.uk

Ards And North Down

Education Minister Attends 4C UR Future LIVE Careers Inspiration Event In Newtownards

Minister for Education, Michelle McIlveen MLA, attended the 4C UR Future LIVE event at the Blair Mayne Wellbeing & Leisure Complex in Newtownards on June 7, 2022. The event, which is an exciting and interactive day of work-based games facilitated by local employers, was attended by Year 9 students from schools across the borough. 

The event was run by 4C UR Future, the industry-led social enterprise that aims to empower young people to make better informed decisions about their education pathways and future careers. 

Founded by engineer and business leader Rose Mary Stalker, 4C UR Future works with numerous local employers to create a fun, action-packed day that enables students to identify their own strengths and interests, relative to those that are in demand by different sectors.

“4C UR Future LIVE was designed from the very beginning to be at-scale and to be inclusive, with as many businesses and sectors as possible represented throughout.

“We’re encouraging young people, before they make their GCSE choices, to look at the vast range of companies working in Northern Ireland today, look at the wide range of sectors, and by playing games explore their own strengths and attributes.”

The 4C UR Future LIVE events are a departure from typical employment and careers seminars and instead embrace a more interactive, hands-on approach. Pupils have the opportunity to participate in an exciting range of skills games and work-based activities, each of which is co-designed and facilitated by local employers. 

“Some games they will love, some games they will hate, some they’ll find easy and some they’ll find hard,” explained Rose Mary, adding: “That’s important information for them to consider when thinking about what they might like to do in the future.”

Thanks to the games and activities on offer, students come away from the event with a greater knowledge of the future world of work and a better understanding of their own skills and abilities.

Having seen the event first hand, Education Minister Michelle McIlveen agreed that attending 4C UR Future LIVE is a valuable step for pupils in their education journey.

“As part of our young people’s education journey, it is so important that they have access to the information and experiences that will help to shape their future career path. 

“That is exactly what the 4C UR Future LIVE initiative aims to do. Their innovative events across Northern Ireland are giving thousands of Year 9 pupils an early opportunity to explore their talents and skills.

“Navigating the careers landscape can be very daunting, but these events will help to inspire and empower young people to make choices that are right for them.”

4C UR Future Managing Director, Rachel Doherty is keen to get the message across, that it is crucial to reach students at the right age and raise their awareness of their own strengths and talents so they can better navigate the complex careers landscape.

“Through 4C UR Future LIVE events and our first-generation CAREERS PORTAL, which is launching in September, we aim to inform young people of the wide range of opportunities available to them, help them navigate the complex careers landscape, and inspire them to achieve their ambitions and become the best version of themselves.”

On how these events are different from traditional careers fairs, Rachel said: “It’s the energy. It’s the buzz. There’s live music, it’s fast paced, the pupils are engaged and playing games. They’re finding out what they’re good at, there’s a little healthy competition, and they’re supporting each other. 

The Mayor of Ards and North Down Borough Council, Councillor Karen Douglas, was also in attendance and said that she and the council were “delighted” to support the event. 

“It’s innovative, and it’s great to see the private and public sectors coming together for this event,” said the Mayor. 

“These are our young people, so we want to make sure that we, the council, are working with partner agencies to ensure that we offer a range of support services to let them grow and thrive in the borough.

“We want them to stay and work here, so we have to provide them with the opportunities to do that.”

The games were run by volunteers from local employers, called ‘Career Heroes’, who represent a diverse range of Northern Ireland’s key employment sectors, giving students an opportunity to network as they took part in the activities.

The event was praised by teachers from the schools in attendance, who lauded the alternative, game-based approach of the 4C UR Future LIVE events. 

Lucy Dougan, a physics teacher from Regent House Grammar School, explained how students can sometimes feel limited, in terms of their career options, but the 4C UR Future LIVE event has shown them that there are opportunities for different skill sets.

“Sometimes you think you’re boxed in in terms of career, but you can see the different paths that you’re capable of taking.

“It’s one of those events where students get to see people from different schools, but they’re also able to experience different types of careers.”

The Year 9s rotated through the ten different games throughout the day, ensuring that every student was able to get involved with each activity. Thanks to this structure, pupils were able to discover and develop an insight into sectors that they may not have previously considered as a career path. 

Mr J McKee, Head of Year 9 at Movilla High School, praised the interactive nature of the event, in regards to both the activities on offer and the fact that it provides students with an opportunity to mix with young people from other schools within the region.

“There are so many schools around,” said Mr McKee. “Students are getting a chance to see their friends, interact with them, find an interest in different careers, and make new friendships.

Of the various games that students took part in, Mr McKee said: “They’ve loved the food industry game, making pies and getting hands on and covered in flour. Although I don’t think the parents will be too pleased when they get home!” 

4C UR Future is running a series of 11 LIVE events as an at-scale pilot across Northern Ireland, supported by 10 councils, during the month of June. The full schedule can be found on the Events page of 4C UR Future’s website. 

To find out more, or if you’d like to get involved, go to 4curfuture.com or email info@4curfuture.com

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Ards And North Down

Crawfordsburn Country Park Celebrates 50 Years

Environment Minister Edwin Poots MLA has unveiled new memorials to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the park and 75 years since the creation of the Ulster Way.

Both milestones have been marked with bespoke wooden memorials carved from a 100 year old Red Cedar tree which had to be felled for safety reasons in 2020.

Speaking at the event, Minister Poots said: “Crawfordsburn Country Park and The Ulster Way, especially the North Down Coastal Path are enjoyed by so many people and are hugely important sites for engagement with our natural heritage, nature and outdoor recreation. This year has already seen over 800,000 visits to the site.

“I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to commemorate both of these anniversaries, particularly when we also mark the centenary year of Northern Ireland. 

“We are all indebted to the foresight and pioneering hard work of all those individuals who worked so hard to ensure that these important natural assets were conserved and protected for future generations and the enjoyment of all.”

Mr Joe Furphy OBE who oversaw the creation and opening of the original park 50 years ago said: “Crawfordsburn Country Park immediately became a big attraction to the people of Belfast in particular.

“The park which has regularly seen annual visitor numbers of more than 750,000 is now also offering a digital experience to visitors, locally accessible through QR codes displayed on new signage across the park.”

Speaking about the new digital access to the park, Minister Poots said: “I am delighted that we have been able to take people’s experience of the park into the digital world. They can now discover the park on the MyNI website in a way which wouldn’t have been possible 50 years ago and certainly not even envisaged one hundred years ago.  

“The website will feature useful information about the park for visitors as well as its rich and interesting history over the years, optimising visitor experience and public engagement with the site and creating understanding as to how some of our most precious natural spaces have evolved over the past century.”

Minister Poots added; “As well as honouring all those who helped create the park, I would like to pay tribute to all of those who have worked and continue to work so hard, to ensure the park continues to be one of Northern Ireland’s premiere destinations for naturally inspired outdoor recreation.”

The new memorials are located outside the park’s visitor centre, and beside the recently replaced foot bridge at the mouth of the Crawford’s Burn and to visit the park virtually go to https://go.myni.life/ccp

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