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SERC’s Peer Conference Prepares Young Leaders

Students from SERC's Entry to Management graduate programme recently attended a one-day Peer Conference at the Stormont Hotel, Belfast as part of their 24-week programme.

Claire Hatton, Training & Innovation Consultant, who manages the programme at SERC said, “The Entry to Management Peer Conference focused on leadership, innovation, creative and strategic thinking, communication, commercial acumen and professional conduct – all skills and behaviours  demanded from the graduates of the programme whilst on placement and in future positions.  

She added, “The conference was informal and friendly to allow for open debate, discussion, questions and answer sessions and the development of ideas, allowing attendees to get to know each other through interactive team challenges. 

“Participants are on placement with businesses throughout Northern Ireland and although they are all on the same programme, they are out working in a range of industries and sectors so the conference offered the opportunity for networking which will be important in future roles.

Guest speakers included Mark Haslam from Loud Mouth Media who spoke about his own leadership journey and the challenges he has faced. Mark now leads his own multi award-winning digital marketing company based in Belfast.

The attendees completed several activities where they had to work in teams, overcoming barriers, harnessing innovation and problem-solving techniques required throughout the day.  The challenges were designed to get the creativity flowing, gathering a rich stew of ideas and themes and gave the attendees an opportunity early in the conference to discover their leadership qualities.

Recognising the growth of those involved on the programme. Claire added, “I have been inspired by the ambition of these young leaders. They have displayed great enthusiasm to fulfil their potential and I am confident that they will become incredibly talented managers who can make a lasting contribution to our economy.

“With the lack of leaderships skills well documented, the Entry to Management Graduate programme at SERC is perfectly suited to meet the demands of the sector and to help grow our own local talent.”

Claire thanked the employers for their support throughout the programme and encouraged other businesses to avail of the programme, adding, “We urge businesses to contact us and discover the many benefits that the programme has to offer for organisations who wish to attract talent to their business.”

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