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CBI calls for 'shift in economic paradigm' to help businesses tackle the scourge of poverty

By Margaret Canning

Published 20/05/2016

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Holly Lyons, Nicki McConnell and Samantha Moore pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Holly Lyons, Nicki McConnell and Samantha Moore pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Paul McErlean, Katie Doran and David Gavaghan pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Jenny Small and Elaine Hartin pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Lynn Leathem and Aisling Press pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Niamh Mulheron and Claire Wallace pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry James Devlin, Heather Wells, Grainne Browne and Paul Wilson pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Natalie Hall, Michael Graham and Suzanne Creed pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Jill McMinn and Helen Norris pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Alison and Brian Monroe pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry James Devlin, Niamh Townsend and Sam Trotter pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Francis McKane, Tony Rice and Gary Martin pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Francis McKane, Tony Rice and Gary Martin pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Ellvena Graham and Patrick McClughan pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Ellvena Graham and Patrick McClughan pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Michelle Bell and Noel Brady pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Stanley Graham and Dianne Foster pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Nigel McVittie and Paul Duffy pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Peter Graham and Paul Wilson pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Adrian Doran, David Gavaghan, Janette Jones and Oliver McAllister pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Caroline Morelli and Mairead Weir pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Alastair Keith and Tracey Schofield pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Sandra McGurk, Iain Hoy, Anthea Savage and Louise Hubbard pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Andrew McCormick, Adrian Doran, David Gavaghan, Malcolm McKibbin and David Sterling pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Danny Hillen, Alasdair Kilpatrick and Paul Murnaghan pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Laura Wells, Professor Marie McHugh and Maureen Fox pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Ed Brown and Edel Creery pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Caroline Morelli, Mairead Weir and Tracey Lynch pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Joanne Cameron, Tina McKenzie and Lisa Griffin pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Eoin McGrath and Christopher Telford pictured at Thursday nights CBI Annual Dinner at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Pat McKeever and Catherine McKeever from Long Meadow Cider
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Michael Graham and Martin Craigs with Ruairdh Morrison from North Coast House pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Hama O'Reilly with Sue Jackson and Mark Uprichard from Armageddon pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Wendy Campbell and Tracie McFerran from Camrancrafts pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Barbara Hughes and Lauren Snoddy from Ruby Blue pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Weston Macklem, Maresa Molly and Alyson Playford and pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Frank Bryan with Wendy Campbell and Tracie McFerran from Camrancrafts pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Peter Conway, Nicola Walker and Kieran Grant pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Lynsey Cunningham, Eleven Graham, Susan Nightingale and Dan McGinn pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Frank Bryan, Judith Totten and Nick McCafferty pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Claire McKee, Tim Brundle and Jill Minne pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Adrian McCourt and Emma Kieran pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Rob Holt, Ian Bell and Geoff Fenton pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Natalie Hall, Maeve Hunt, Michael Graham and Suzanne Creed pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Maureen Fox and Marie McHugh pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Kim Lucas and Clare Doran pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Kathryn Thompson, Eleven Graham, Ann McGregor and Frances Hill pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Chris Brown John Mulgrew and Symon Ross pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Alan Dixon and Patrick McClughan pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Kat Smyth, Louise Hubbard and Sandra McGurk pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Adrian Doran, Mike Nesbitt and David Gavaghan pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Glyn Roberts and Sean Sheehan pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - John Holland-Kaye, Adrian Doran, Katie Doran, Ronan Larkin and David Elliott pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Noel Brady and guests pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Ellvena Graham and guests pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Nigel, Kay and Jamie Smyth pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Colin Walsh, Nigel Smyth and David Gavaghan pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Adrian Doran pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - David Gavaghan pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - John Holland-Kaye pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2016 - Nigel Smyth pictured at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Dinner . Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Businesses is the "engine" that can help tackle poverty across Northern Ireland, the annual Confederation of British Industry dinner heard.

David Gavaghan, the chairman of the business organisation, told around 500 guests at the event in Waterfront Hall that the province's economy was in need of major change.

"We require an economic paradigm shift to boost regional growth and create the jobs required to tackle the long-term poverty that has pervaded too many parts of our society," Mr Gavaghan said.

"Delivering critical infrastructure projects on time and on budget and achieving the requisite returns requires a step-change in engagement and approach."

Mr Gavaghan, the former chief executive of Titanic Quarter Ltd, said creating jobs for young people should also be a priority for companies - and invited two young people to speak and share their hopes for the future.

"We need to urgently connect to our young people, listen to what issues will make them put their roots down here and maximise the chances of their returning," he added.

"For too long we have lost the most precious of all our resources - our youth."

He claimed Northern Ireland's economy was lagging behind both the Republic of Ireland and UK, highlighting that our economic growth of 1.4% in 2015 was considerably poorer than the UK's 2.2% and the Republic's impressive 7.7%.

He also cited the Belfast arm of aerospace giant Bombardier as an example of what could be achieved in Northern Ireland, with the business steadily increasing its role within its parent company's global operations.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye also addressed the event, and said that a third runway at the airport could help create 5,000 jobs in Northern Ireland by increasing the number of international connections.

Adrian Doran, head of corporate banking at Barclays in the province, said that the new scheme reflected its desire to grow its customer base
Adrian Doran, head of corporate banking at Barclays in the province, said that the new scheme reflected its desire to grow its customer base

Banking giant Barclays - the title sponsor of the evening - also unveiled a new £100m loan fund for SMEs in the province at the event.

The UK-based bank said that the fund was its first support package aimed at SMEs in Northern Ireland and would be open to firms with turnover of under £25m.

Adrian Doran, head of corporate banking at Barclays in the province, said that the new scheme reflected its desire to grow its customer base.

"We believe we are really well equipped to help local SMEs grow their businesses," he added. "We have a long history of banking many of Northern Ireland's largest companies, and in addition we have a huge amount of knowledge from being a major player in the SME banking market in the UK."

First Minister Arlene Foster welcomed the new fund, which she said would support a significant number of businesses.

"I give my assurance that the Executive will continue to do all in its power to support small to medium-sized businesses to thrive and grow," she added.

Belfast Telegraph

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