South Eastern Regional College (SERC) hosted an awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of graduates from the Entry to management graduate programme.
The 24-week academy trained 40 graduates across a diverse range of sectors where they completed a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) level 5 leadership and management qualification. The graduates undertook an intensive management training programme with a strong focus on leadership, innovation, creative thinking, management and communication. 90 percent of participants received an offer of employment with their employers on completion of the programme.
The ceremony, at the Colleges Lisburn Campus, was attended by the graduates, along with employer representatives who were welcomed by SERC principal and chief executive Ken Webb.
Ken said: “This programme proves an excellent example of how the public and private sectors can work together to support graduates to find employment. With the lack of leaderships skills well documented, the Entry to Management Graduate programme is perfectly suited to meet the demands of the sector and to help grow our own local talent. The programme has been an exemplar model of how the College can deliver highly skilled and motivated staff in a responsive and efficient manner. We are delighted to see the positive outcomes of the programme and I personally congratulate all of the graduates and wish them the greatest success in their future."
The programme was led by Jenny McConnell SERC Leadership and Management Consultant. Jenny said: “We are delighted with the success of this first cohort of graduates. The programme gave the graduates valuable employability skills whilst at the same time gaining an additional CMI endorsed qualification. We understand the need for good, well-qualified talented managers who can make a lasting contribution, and the Entry to Management programme brings both of these themes together.
Jenny went on to thank the employers for their support throughout the programme and encouraged other businesses to avail of the programme, she said “We are urging businesses to contact us and discover the many benefits that the programme has to offer. This programme is a must for organisations who want to add value and attract talent to their organisation at low cost."
Guest speaker Tracy Meharg, Executive Director Business Solutions Group at Invest Northern Ireland, welcomed the graduates' achievements and highlighted the importance of talent management in the strategic plans of high growth companies.
Tracy said: “This programme is a valuable initiative which is helping to fuel the availability of a highly educated, skilled workforce that investors and indigenous firms alike need to grow their businesses here. Connecting education and industry ensures that we have a pipeline of talent in the skills areas that current and future businesses need. This strategic approach will support our companies to realise their full potential and help attract the next generation of global investment to Northern Ireland."
Darragh McCarthy, chief executive officer at Fintru said “The graduate management programme helped us create a new generation of great leaders who can contribute to the future growth of the company. FinTrU is always looking to the future and new ways to improve our services and attract talent. Attracting the right people with the right skills and developing them within our business is vital for us achieving our business goals, and this programme enabled us to do just that."
SERC was awarded the tender to deliver the programme from the Department for the Economy (DfE) last year.
SERC is now recruiting applicants and businesses for the programme. To apply please visit www.serc.ac.uk/entrytomanagement. Applications close on Friday 11 August. For more information please email EntryToManagement@serc.ac.uk or call Phil Martin on 075856 69596.