Belfast Telegraph

Committed to maximising full potential of new managers

The Department for Employment and Learning is sponsoring the Excellence in Development of Management and Leadership category at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards 2015. Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry outlines the importance of developing management and leadership skills in the Northern Ireland economy.

In order to develop a vibrant economy in Northern Ireland businesses need highly skilled leaders and managers. Strong leadership and management skills are vital to improving the performance of local businesses and to achieving sustained economic growth.

Leadership and management skills are proven worldwide to be a highly effective way for companies to gain a competitive edge. Increased skill levels help firms adapt more quickly and effectively to change, and this in turn gives them more confidence to invest, to innovate, to seek out new markets and to grow.

As the signs of economic improvement increase, businesses are increasingly realising that investing in their leadership skills and the skills of their employees can increase productivity and overall success.

My department's Management and Development Branch encourages companies to commit to training and developing their managers in order to maximise their full potential and offers a suite of programmes which have been developed in consultation with Northern Ireland companies to meet real business needs. Further Information can be found at the web site programmes.htm.

The programmes include the management analysis and planning or MAP programme which helps businesses by providing an independent, structured, flexible approach to identifying and addressing company needs. The INTRO entry to management programme for graduates and the management and leadership develop programme known as MLDP are made up of a range of accredited management and leadership interventions aimed at the individual manager.

The overall focus of each programme will vary to include generic management and leadership skills whilst others look at specific topics such as exporting, sales, leadership or project management skills.

Since April 2013, 199 companies have signed up to the MAP programme facilitating the training of 2,421 individual managers, another 2,300 have signed up to the management and leadership development programme and 310 graduates have registered on the INTRO programme with over £4.4m already committed to the training and development of managers.

The leadership and management skills assessment is a free online diagnostic tool provided by my department through which an individual manager can assess their skills and priority learning needs.

A personalised report is generated, which provides a self-assessed rating, identifies areas for development and gives advice and signposting to relevant training resources and events.

The assessment can be accessed at www.nibusiness leadership-management- skills-assessment-1.

I look forward to seeing the nominations for the Excellence in the Development of Management and Leadership Award and wish all the entries good luck in the 2015 Belfast Telegraph Business Awards.

Belfast Telegraph