Prominent MEP guest speaker at local business networking event

The Midlands Region of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD ) hosted a successful business networking event in recent times. Entitled ‘The Green Deal – Gearing up for new ways of working’ the occasion featured special guest speaker Mairead McGuinness MEP.

This was the fourth event in an exciting programme of events for 2019/2020 provided by the CIPD Midlands Region Committee and took place within the surrounds of Athlone Institute of Technology who sponsored the event.

On the evening, Michelle McKeon Bennett, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Hospitality introduced Mairead on behalf of the college. This was followed by Caroline Ward, Chairperson of the CIPD Midlands Committee giving a warm welcome to Mairead and everyone in attendance.

Mairead delivered an insightful and engaging discussion on sustainability policies in relation to a greener Europe, making reference to a particular Green Deal initiative, ‘Farm to Fork’. This initiative aims to create a sustainable food value chain through legislative and non-legislative actions.

The main focus of the Green Deal will be on how climate change is approached and how existing policies can be re-orientated to ensure they are fair and just for all regions. Mairead also made reference to the obvious impact such sustainability policies will have on jobs in terms of skillset availability.

It was clear to all in attendance that Mairead is passionate about collaborative problem solving and joined up debates between people both inside and outside of politics. She highlighted the importance of demonstrating attentive and active listening to move towards a middle ground, particularly in the context of a greener Europe. Touching on a range of Green Deal initiatives and policies that have many different views, it was apparent from Mairead’s message that one size will not fit all. However, with a greater focus on people and the economy, and not one without the other, we may come a step closer to a more sustainable world.

Overall, Mairead’s discussion was both informative and engaging. Some interesting questions around fuel poverty, learning outcomes of Brexit, and agricultural policies were asked by members of the audience. The key take home message was – to achieve a greener Europe that we all desire, we must all work together and have respectful conversations about the future.

The event concluded with Caroline Ward thanking Mairead for her time, and a token of appreciation was offered by Claire Shaw, CIPD committee member.

The CIPD Midlands region provides a forum for HR and business leaders in both public and private enterprises to network and share information, skills and best practice in the area of Human Resource Management, Employment Law, Employee and Industrial Relations.


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