Junior Minister Jonathan Bell has attended an event to showcase the finalists for the Construction Excellence Awards 2012.
Launched in 1999 by the Construction Employers Federation, the Awards have become an important event in the Northern Ireland construction calendar giving the industry an opportunity to recognise the achievement of local companies and to publicise the substantial contribution the sector makes to the economy and society of Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the Boy’s Model School Belfast Junior Minister Bell welcomed the opportunity to showcase this year’s 29 finalists prior to the main awards evening in October.
He said: “It cannot be stressed enough how important the construction industry is to Northern Ireland. It makes a substantial contribution to the economy, providing thousands of jobs directly, and thousands more along its supply chain.
"Events like this show the industry’s many achievements, made all the more commendable by the pressures under which it currently finds itself.”
Junior Minister Bell continued: “The Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment, through Invest NI, has been working closely with the industry for some time to help it identify and capitalise on new opportunities.
“Over the last five years Invest NI has offered support to nearly 2,000 projects in the construction sector. This represents financial assistance of more than £33million which has helped to create nearly 1,400 jobs.
“This year a new Exporting Award category, which is being sponsored by Invest NI, has been introduced to reflect the changed market conditions. It is now vital that companies look beyond these shores to supplement the work available locally.”
The 2012 winners will be announced at a Gala evening on 11 October 2012 in the Culloden Hotel.