People 1st are here to support your training and employment goals, with our accredited range of courses and qualifications


How we started….

From our first beginnings in Belfast in the summer of 1992, our Director, Bernadette Daly, had a clear vision to create a company that would help put the needs of local people first, giving life to the company you know as ‘People 1st’.  We have grown so much since then, however our main aim is the same today as it was- to support you to progress and develop as an individual by providing first class training. Whether you are just starting out as a school leaver, wanting to get into employment, or looking to progress your career to the next level with further professional development, we have options for you. Whatever stage you are at,  we are looking forward to helping you achieve great things…


‘Together, let's realise your ambition’

Where we are now….

Over the last thirty years, People 1st have grown steadily to offer our services at 15 different offices across the North and South of Ireland.

We have a wealth of experience with 100+ staff and over 60 associates including dedicated training specialists, mentors and employment coaches, with vast experience in the design, development and accreditation of training qualifications and quality marks. 

As an award winning training and employment provider, we offer a range of government funded and European Social Funded training programmes, employment support initiatives and training solutions at both individual and corporate level.  

 Over the last three decades, we have supported over 75,000 people to achieve accredited qualifications and helped over a third of participants transition into employment or upskill.

Having been a ‘Deloitte Best Managed Company in Ireland’ for the last eight years in a row, and also holding the ‘Investors in People’  Gold Standard award, we are proud to pursue excellence.

Company Values
The range of qualities which set our company apart are captured in our company values represented in the acronym CULTURE
C – Commitment
U – Understanding
L – Loyalty
T – Team
U – Unique
R – Respect
E – Excellence

Our Awards

The Deloitte Ireland Best Managed Companies Award promotes and recognises excellence in Irish/Northern Irish owned and managed companies and is the only awards scheme on the island of Ireland that considers business performance from every perspective. Entrants to the programme compete for the designation in a rigorous process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices in addition to the strategy, capability, innovation, culture and financial performance of their companies. 

People 1st is extremely proud and delighted to receive this prestigious award again at the Deloitte prestigious awards ceremony in October 2022, making this the eighth year in a row we have done so. We would like to thank Deloitte and all our team for their hard work. 

We have achieved Investors in People Gold accreditation. This award from Investors in People is recognised all over the world- and it means that we are at the top of our game in terms of people management. We have clearly demonstrated a commitment to our team to invest in their training and development, meaning our staff are motivated, committed and engaged. This also means that everyone – from Company Directors through to apprentices – take ownership for bringing company objectives to life through.

In turn, this helps make People 1st a great place to work and also is fantastic news for anyone who uses our services- as we strive to constantly pass this knowledge onto you, our customer through our training programmes and mentoring support.

We have also received the Regio Stars 2019 Award from the European Commission.  This annual competition, rewards excellence and recognises those fostering new approaches in regional development across a variety of different community projects. These projects fight against poverty and material deprivation and foster more inclusive, cohesive and equal societies. People 1st were nominated in the category for combatting Inequalities and poverty in our WISE Project which supports women back into Employment within the Republic of Ireland. 

The People 1st team are very proud to be a holder of this esteemed award and we would like to thank all the team involved for their hard work, and we are delighted to continue changing the lives of so many women across our network.


Meet our team

Gillian Duffy
Bernie Daly

Managing Director

Ronan Heenan


Brenda Kernaghan


Aidan Kelly

Centre Manager - belfast south, Belfast west, Lurgan & Portadown

Patricia Moley

Centre Manager - Lisburn & Newry

Heather McBride

Quality Assurance Manager – Teaching and Learning

Gráinne McBride

Quality Assurance Manager - Contracts

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Why choose People 1st?

Our friendly, supportive and knowledgeable team are ready to help you explore our suite of programmes and qualifications.  

Whatever your circumstances, we can advise you on the best training and employability initiatives available.

We put people first; it’s in our name. Come see how we can help you and together let’s realise your ambition.

Trusted Partners

People 1st are now JAM Card Friendly!


Our Locations