Council Launch Get Future Ready – Employability and Skills Conference

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Time to think ahead! Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Paul Greenfield and Get Future Ready Conference host Wendy Austin launch the Employability & Skills Conference at the Seagoe Hotel in Portadown.

As part of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s February campaign Get Future Ready, a special employability and skills conference is taking place on Thursday 23 February.

Hosted by Wendy Austin, this event is open to all local employers, citizens and community representatives as well as stakeholders from across education, training and employment organisations.

The Conference, which takes place from 9am to 1.30pm at the Seagoe Hotel in Portadown will focus on the importance of employability and skills in the borough, looking ahead to what will be needed by employers and what the future of work might look like.

The keynote motivational speaker will be Barry Winkless, Head of the Future of Work Institute, a global talent organisation that questions, explores and designs future work solutions. His immersive storytelling will bring this important topic to life to help local businesses think ahead with vision and purpose.

Other speakers include Dr Eoin Magennis from Ulster University, Heather Cole from the Department for Education, and Adrian Farrell from the Business Partnership Alliance. Kieran Dougall will reflect on his experience on the Higher Level Apprenticeship scheme with local company McElmeel Mobility Services.

A panel discussion will involve Mary Meehan, from Manufacturing NI, Harry Hamilton from NI Food and Drink Association, Kim McAllister from Almac, and Lee Campbell from Southern Regional College (SRC) who will share how current and future trends might develop in their respective sectors.

The Get Future Ready: Employability and Skills series is part of the Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Labour Market Partnership – and is being delivered by Banbridge District Enterprises, in partnership with SRC and with support from Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation (CIDO) and Armagh and Mayfair Business Centres.


Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Paul Greenfield commented:

“Council is delighted to host this conference for employers and job seekers in the borough to bring together leading experts and think through what skills are going to be needed in the workplace going forward.

“We look forward to what insights and inspiration Barry Winkless will share as he energises local business owners to think creatively ahead, exploring workplace solutions that will ignite employees to be motivated in their work that will improve productivity and output.

“The Conference, and indeed the full suite of events in February under the Get Future Ready umbrella, all aim to further develop a pipeline of talent aligned to local industry needs both now and in the future, and we look forward to welcoming, in particular, young people along.”


The Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Labour Market Partnership is a joint public/private sector initiative, which aims to address the complex and changing landscape of employability and skills provision both for those looking for work and for employers.

The Conference is one of many events taking place during February. Others include a Job Fair, Big Apprenticeship Event, ‘how to’ demonstrations, and workshops on topics such as interview techniques and employer visits. Places for each event are limited so we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.

More information can be found on the special online hub getfuturereadyabc.com.