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Irish FM date

How the National Gallery of Ireland secures itself will feature in an Irish facilities management event in Belfast.

Christiaan Clotworthy, Head of Security and Facilities at the Dublin gallery, will be one of the speakers at annual Ireland conference of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) on November 16. Facilities management people from across Ireland are already signed-up for the event in Belfast’s Waterfront where the speakers will cover everything from health and safety during the build and launch of the Titanic a century ago to delivering total facilities management in television.

Stephen Welch, chair of the BIFM, Ireland Region, said the event was a chance for sector practitioners to network, as membership of a professional body could make the difference between securing a job and not in one of the fastest growing sectors in Ireland, worth £95m GB and Ireland-wide.

“Professional association membership is, without doubt, a prerequisite for this sector so the highlight for many delegates will be the opportunity to network within the profession – networking is the lifeblood of the facilities management sector and probably also for many others,” said Mr Welch.

“It’s an essential activity for in-house facilities professionals who may be the only person in their organisation responsible for FM. It helps them to feel part of a bigger family network and helps to ensure credibility when they bring that business case to the board.

“However, as well as that I know that the BIFM is also fighting our corner, helping to get the FM sector better recognition at both government and senior business leader level. Most importantly, I get professional recognition and the membership grading structure allows me to demonstrate my skills and experience to my peers and my employer.

“But just as great ideas are often generated through a quick chat at a water-cooler, rather than in a formal meeting or at a desk, it’s during the breaks of conferences that some of the best discussions happen – ¬or when you find out about a new job opportunity.

“And that’s what being a member of a professional association like the BIFM all is about. As a BIFM member, I can engage with my peers through regional events such as the upcoming conference and online through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well as national conferences, exhibitions and dinners where I can share experiences across different sectors and regions.”

BIFM membership also includes a fortnightly membership magazine, FM World, of Good Practice Guides on specialist topics, e-newsletters featuring industry developments from legal and political issues to practical advice and a website with FM information.

Delegates at this year’s conference will hear David Knott, Safety & Environmental Manager, Belfast Harbour Commissioners; Christiaan Clotworthy, Head of Security and Facilities, National Gallery of Ireland; Michael Ferguson, Managing Director ARAMARK Environmental Services; Julie Kortens, Head of Corporate Services at Channel 4 and Liz Kentish, an FM coach.

An opening address will also be given by Patsy McGlone MLA, Chair of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee and the All Party Group on Construction at the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The BIFM Ireland region conference takes place on November 16, 8.30am – 3.30pm at the Belfast Waterfront. For more information visit . Non-BIFM members are welcome.


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