Northern Irish minister for enterprise, trade and investment Arlene Foster has hailed the growing role the countrys actuarial community is playing in helping to employ talented young people.
Ms Foster was speaking as Queen's University Belfast yesterday launched the Society of Northern Ireland Actuaries. The society aims to give actuaries and students training to be actuaries the opportunity to discuss and debate the latest issues in the delivery of actuarial services and around related professions.
It is aimed at actuaries in Northern Ireland and further afield, including students training on the Queen's University Management School's Actuarial Science and Risk Management degree.
Ms Foster said: 'We want to see more of the same high quality employment opportunities available for our people here in Northern Ireland as they would find in London, Edinburgh or Dublin. For too long Northern Ireland has exported its best assets in the form of young people, or have watched as their talents are under-utilised when they stay in the region.
'Crucial to that aim is the continued co-operation between our world class colleges and universities, industry and government that has facilitated new course development to meet industry needs.'
Describing actuarial services and risk management as an 'excellent example' of that kind of collaboration, Ms Foster said the Queen's University course -which was launched in 2007 - had been a very significant development in creating 'the right talent pipeline' for the profession.
Jane Curtis, president of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, said the establishment of the society, which was first announced last month, was 'timely', given 40 new actuarial students were now passing through Queen's University every year.
'SONIA can only help further the standing of the profession in Northern Ireland as it encourages the development of a strong actuarial community focused on research and opportunities for members,' she said.
Further information on the new society can be obtained from its president, Colin O'Hare, at Queen's University Management School on 028 9097 4671 or email [email protected].