Omagh Enterprise client Todds Leap wins at the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards

COMPANIES representing sectors from pizzas to packaging, architecture to insurance, power to post, were lauded last night at the sixth annual Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards in the spectacular Titanic Belfast.

Allstate Northern Ireland – which a year ago was the inaugural ‘Champion’ – was the night’s only multiple winner, clinching victory in two of the 18 categories.

While a handful of past victors made it back on to the podium, the gala night was as much about celebrating a clutch of new winners.

They included west Belfast-based Delta Print & Packaging which claimed the Right Place to Work prize for medium-sized organisations.

Ulster GAA took the Workplace Excellence Award while Copeland Ltd in Co Tyrone was named Best Place to Work.

Among the other first-time winners were Royal Mail, First Derivatives, Stage Crew and Nitec Solutions.

Among the new awards was for Disability Best Practice Employer and the judges named joint winners here, with Belfast City Council and Todds Leap unable to be separated.

Little Wing Pizzeria fended off a number of rivals to win the Managing Talent category for small businesses.

“It’s been a record year not only for the numbers entering but for the range of sectors represented and we’re delighted that this year’s Workplace & Employment Awards are yet another runaway success,” Irish News editor Noel Doran said.

Employment and learning minister Dr Stephen Farry, who was a top-table guest at last night’s function, told the 450-plus audience: “The aims of the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards go hand in hand with the direction set out in my Department’s Skills Strategy for Northern Ireland, and I’m delighted to be continuing our long association with this initiative.”

Nick Hewer, who is Lord Sugar’s right-hand man on The Apprentice and who also hosts Countdown each day on Channel 4, was the after-dinner speaker and regaled guests with a captivating and humour-laced presentation.

Last night’s event, hosted by award- winning BBC journalist Karen Patterson, saw 18 main awards being presented alongside commendations.

The awards were supported by six key business partners in Tughans, Liberty IT, Tesco, PwC, Kingsbridge Private Hospital and Investors in People, and were endorsed by key industry bodies the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD).