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Honorary graduate and Visiting Professor at Ulster University's Business School and Deloitte UK Managing Partner for People and Purpose, Jackie Henry shares how Deloitte’s BrightStart Degree Apprenticeship and Graduate Academy programmes together with Ulster’s new enhanced Belfast campus are key in attracting the talent of the future.

Jackie believes Ulster University’s enhanced Belfast campus will be a “magnet for talent” that will “shift the social fabric” of the city. And that’s something that she would know about, in thanks part to the steadfast commitment she has shown over the years to diversity, inclusion and social mobility as well as helping to build skills and providing access to education for people across Northern Ireland, all of which led to the creation of Deloitte’s BrightStart Degree Apprenticeship and Graduate Academy programmes.

That, coupled with her experience of supporting transformational change of Northern Ireland, especially within the public sector, led to her being named a Visiting Professor of the Ulster University Business School  and more recently, an honorary graduate of the University.

Jackie said:

"Ulster University’s enhanced Belfast campus is an incredible opportunity and a brilliant investment. It’s going to create a focal point for collaboration; for innovation; for creativity."

She continued:

"Collaboration is at the heart of continuous improvement. Ideation and innovation have been key for Deloitte’s deep relationship with Ulster University. We want the BrightStart programme to not only benefit Deloitte and Ulster University but, most importantly, for the young people on the programme."

The firm offers a part-time degree with the university: Monday to Thursday with the company; Friday in class. It’s a relationship that allows for the application of theory as well as on-the-job learning.

More than 300 BrightStarts later, Jackie said Ulster University’s capacity as a “creative partner” to co-design the programme was complemented by its commitment to investing in its students’ learning from the start, something which would lay the foundations for later life.

She believes that it is important for people to have places to go to network, saying the York Street campus will provide just that.

"As well as being a catalyst for the regeneration of Belfast, the enhanced campus will allow alumni to connect, give back and get involved in the wider community.

This may be through developing course content and sharing the stories of what their businesses have been doing and what that might create for Belfast and Northern Ireland. It provides alumni the opportunity to share their story to inspire the next generation of future leaders.

This is the perfect time for alumni and local business to step up, show up and get involved."

Johnny Mooney is a recent graduate of the BrightStart programme. Now working as a Consultant for Deloitte, he shared his experience and the opportunities it brought on Ulster University Business School’s Business of Possibility podcast.

To find out more about the range of Higher-Level Apprenticeships on offer at Ulster University visit our Apprenticeship Hub. Alternatively, if you would like to discuss new apprenticeship programmes and organisational development opportunities, please contact UUBS’s Business Engagement Team at