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Much has been documented over the last year about the prevailing challenges facing Northern Ireland businesses. As we move into 2023, skills shortages are expected to remain high on the agenda for many employers across industries.

As a leading provider of entrepreneurial education, research and impact, Ulster University Business School is working hand-in-hand with businesses across the North West and beyond to help address specific workforce development needs.

From industry-focused undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education courses to higher-level apprenticeships and customised training programmes, our vast portfolio of flexible learning solutions are designed to deliver positive business outcomes at both an individual and organisational level.

Whether its adapting to organisational change or leveraging new technologies, increasingly businesses are recognising the importance of upskilling their workforce. Through the development of high-quality, cost-effective bespoke learning solutions, our innovative programmes are supporting the management and leadership capacity of local firms.

In a recent collaboration, Ulster University Business School partnered with Derry~Londonderry-based Insurtech specialists, Alchemy Technology Services, to deliver a new customised training programme to develop the company’s next generation of emerging leaders.

Leadership Skills for the Future, an intensive five-day Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course, was specifically designed to address workforce development requirements within the company. Academic experts from the Magee campus worked in partnership with Alchemy’s Leadership Team to design an accredited leadership development programme that focused on enhancing leadership capabilities, knowledge, and behaviours.

The partnership has helped Alchemy develop talented staff within its first cohort of ‘gold’ level employees, allowing them to explore aspects of their personal and professional development not currently captured in their daily roles.

John Harkin, Founder and CEO of Alchemy Technology Services said:

We are delighted to be partnering with Ulster University to deliver this programme to aspiring leaders within our company. Leadership skills which equip us for the future are crucial to the success of our business and this bespoke programme allows our people to deep dive into real world business challenges as well as benefit from world class expertise in business and leadership. The team at Ulster University Business School has provided us with an excellent experience, both in understanding our business needs and supporting the growth of our team.

Through in-person seminars, workshops and team-based projects, course participants studied the latest concepts around key strategic and contemporary leadership theory and practice, exploring leadership types, emotional intelligence, and essential leadership skills.

Feedback from the course was excellent, with participants reporting they had developed a greater awareness of the role of emotional intelligence, resilience, and a growth mindset in leading individuals and teams.

Erin Mc Feely, Alliances and Engagement Manager at Alchemy Technology Services spoke about her experience of the programme:

Taking part in the Ulster University Leadership Skills for the Future course along with colleagues from Alchemy was a unique opportunity to focus on developing my skills as a business leader whilst also gaining further insight into our company. The teaching and speakers were first class and truly inspirational. The course also gave me the opportunity to collaborate with people in the company which I might not have otherwise worked with, helping me to get to know them better and strengthen our working relationship.

If you have a specific business challenge and would be interested in finding out how Ulster University Business School (UUBS) could support you, please get in touch with the UUBS Business Engagement Team at