110-year-old Belfast Met plans a lead role in making city work
Belfast Metropolitan College has vowed it will lead the city to work as it prepares to launch its business college later this year.
The institution - which educates 20,000 students each year - is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year, and has launched a new corporate plan for 2016-2020.
Principal Marie-Therese McGivern said Belfast Met made a "colossal social and economic contribution to the economy".
Marketing expert and author Steve McKee gave a keynote address at the launch of the plan at the Springvale campus in west Belfast yesterday entitled 'Helping Businesses Thrive'.
The college said the talk was a prequel to some of the "dynamic and inspirational master classes and seminars" which will take place at Belfast Business School when it opens at the e3 building at the Springvale campus.
It will become the first further education facility in the UK to launch a business school later this year.
The college will continue to provide full and part-time programmes across its campuses which include its new headquarters at Titanic Quarter, Millfield, Springvale and Castlereagh.
It is also a £60m business in its own right, providing employment to more than 1,000 people.
It describes its courses as being "accessible, flexible and industry-endorsed, with strategic links to the local business community and employers to help provide a ready to work workforce", with its slogan "leading the city to work".
Speaking at the Springvale campus, Mr McKee said the work of the college "should be celebrated".
"I am delighted to be a part of this event which marks the proud heritage of Belfast Met, and to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience of revitalising organisations that have stalled or become stale," he said.
"In today's business world it is imperative to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge required for an increasingly competitive and demanding workforce, and the work the college is doing in 'leading the city to work' is to be celebrated."
Ms McGivern said Belfast Met was still at the forefront of delivering skills and learning after 110 years.
"Our college was founded as the Belfast Municipal Technical Institute in 1906 at the height of the city's industrial might and in direct response to the demands of industry," she said.
"It provided the knowledge, creativity and innovation that drove industry forward, equipping the workforce with the technical skills on which the city nurtured and thrived.
"This proud heritage endures today as we continue to develop individuals with the skills and knowledge required for an increasingly competitive and demanding workforce.
"Belfast Met makes a colossal social and economic contribution to the local economy and will continue to build on this, working closely with our 500 plus valued partner employers to deliver this."
In 1906 the then Belfast Municipal Technical Institute had a focus on engineering, shipbuilding, textiles and general manufacturing in response to the industrial demands of that time in the city.
Now Belfast Met has made a £1m investment in upgrading the teaching and training facilities in the e3 building at the Springvale campus.
That will allow the college to accommodate a wider range of digitally-delivered, academic professional short course programmes.