Bangor pupils win workplace challenge

Pictured at the NI Business Simulator Challenge at Riddel Hall is (L-R) Professor Ciaran Connolly of Queen's University Management School, Glen Young, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Henderson Group, Bangor Grammar's winning team 'Just Running Quarters' and Business Studies teacher, Mr Sinclair, BDO Northern Ireland Partner, Laura Jackson and SimVenture Ireland Partner, Will Hogan.
Pictured at the NI Business Simulator Challenge at Riddel Hall is (L-R) Professor Ciaran Connolly of Queen's University Management School, Glen Young, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Henderson Group, Bangor Grammar's winning team 'Just Running Quarters' and Business Studies teacher, Mr Sinclair, BDO Northern Ireland Partner, Laura Jackson and SimVenture Ireland Partner, Will Hogan.
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Bangor Grammar was the winner of Northern Ireland’s first Business Simulator Challenge aimed at testing workplace competencies.

The challenge placed students in the position of CEOs presented with a range of complex problems and tasking them to solve them, demonstrating a range of skills including commercial awareness, team work, financial management and leadership.

Laura Jackson, Partner at BDO Northern Ireland, said: “This challenge is an opportunity for young people to get a practical sense of what challenges businesses are facing today and how they use their theoretical knowledge to better inform and solve problems.

“It is vital that schools are providing students with the opportunity to gain practical experience through their learning. Hosting this initiative alongside the wider curriculum will allow this approach to become standard across schools”.

The final, which took place at Riddel Hall recently was judged by a panel of business experts from BDO Northern Ireland, Henderson Group, Queen’s Management School and SimVenture, the business simulator software provider.

Professor Ciaran Connolly, Queen’s University Management School added: “The challenge provides an opportunity for students to get as close to a real life business scenario as possible, allowing them to apply real world experiences to their studies. Having an expert panel to provide advice and guidance throughout the contest allowed pupils to gain an understanding of how their decisions can have a real impact.”

Ron Whitten, chief financial officer at Henderson added: “It was encouraging to see the enthusiasm of the young people taking part, demonstrating real team work and leadership at a young age which are important attributes for future success.”