Award-winning college’s ties with Ryobi highlighted

Alessandro Niola, Learning and Development officer at Ryobi; Ruth Walker, assistant head of department at NRC and Ellvena Graham, president of NI Chamber.
Alessandro Niola, Learning and Development officer at Ryobi; Ruth Walker, assistant head of department at NRC and Ellvena Graham, president of NI Chamber.

Northern Regional College (NRC) has been crowned a winner in Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Chamber Business Awards for 2018.

The college was successful in the ‘Education and Business Partnership’ category for its innovative and distinctive approach to employer engagement.

NRC will now compete against other regional winners in the national finals in a bid to lift the top UK business accolade in its category and also the chance to scoop the top title as overall National Chamber Awards winner 2018.

The national winners will be announced on 29 November 2018 at the Tobacco Dock in London.

NRC is a leading provider of further education and training across a diverse geographical area with campuses in Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Magherafelt and Newtownabbey. The college supports the local economy by providing a wide range of services to the business community, including consultancy, training and upskilling.

Business development training programmes, which can be tailored to meet the particular needs of individual businesses, are developed and delivered by the College’s Business Development team and industry-specific technical and academic staff.

Vincent Taggart, Vice-Principal Teaching & Learning at Northern Regional College, said: “We are delighted that the college’s innovative and distinctive approach to business engagement has been recognised in this way, highlighting our successful track record in employer engagement and building business partnerships.”

Mr Taggart noted NRC is particularly proud of the relationship it has developed with Ryobi, which manufactures products for the European automotive market and has a plant in Carrickfergus.

He continued: “Over the past 10 years, some 500 Ryobi apprentices and staff have benefited from the bespoke training provided by the college.

“The award also reflects the commitment of Ryobi – and the many other businesses we work with – to developing the skills of their technicians, engineers and managers. This undoubtedly contributes to their business success, as well as helping to support and grow the wider Northern Ireland economy.”

Ellvena Graham, president of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, said:

“Northern Regional College has a number of long-standing relationships with the business community, which are impressive in terms of longevity, and in relation to the breadth of activities that it has encompassed during this time.”

“With student employability and business engagement at the heart of its approach, the college and its staff possess the flexibility and adaptability required in today’s economy where change is prevalent. I wish them well at the national finals in London.”