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Employee volunteering programmes for Education

We provide a wide range of employee volunteering opportunities ranging from primary school initiatives to continuous professional development for principals.

Research shows that when employees are engaged in their company they typically exhibit and apply high skill levels to their role resulting in high productive rates and innovation. Increased employee commitment can happen when an employee feels their values align with the company they are working for and this can lead to real cost savings and increased profitability.

Our impactful programmes can also support a company’s diversity and inclusion agenda by creating a wider pool of potential talent in your community.

Our suite of Education Programmes are delivered to schools under the name, The Schools’ Business Partnership. Once a school is matched with a local company, a dedicated BITCI programme coordinator works with both parties to ensure an efficient and impactful programme.

We create mutually beneficial relationships some of which have surpassed the 10 year milestone!

If you are a large organisation you can access our education programmes by becoming a member.  If you are a Small to Medium business please get in touch with us directly at the details below.

Choose a programme:

Time to Read

One in ten children in Irish primary schools have serious difficulty with reading and writing – this rises to 30% in some disadvantaged schools. This means that 50,000 Irish children are not reaching their potential.

Our Time to Read programme provides children in second class with reading support from a business volunteer over a 20 week programme.

The programme aims to increase the enjoyment of, and confidence in reading whilst encouraging self-discovery for the participating children. Our programme was piloted in 2010/11 and evaluated by renowned expert Dr. Eithne Kennedy of St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.

Teachers and participants report significant impacts on the children.  All business volunteers who partake in this programme receive training in advance which provides volunteers with the desired outcomes, programme details, feedback and support elements, best practice information in terms of reading strategies and child protection guidelines.

Each weekly session consists of the business volunteer reading one to one for 30 minutes each with two children. The children, their volunteers and parents have a visit to their local public library.  The business also hosts a workplace visit for the participating children and their teachers.

The business and child impact is measured and a report provided to each participating business at the conclusion of the programme.

Download our most recent Time to Read National Impact Report.

View our Time to Read Overview

In 2023, An Post became a major sponsor of our Time to Read programme increasing the number of An Post volunteers across the country significantly. Watch the video below to see how important this programme is.

Business Quote: “Really enjoyed the experience and have already recommended to friends and colleagues. The kids were great and it was so rewarding seeing their interest in reading and confidence build through the weeks

100% of Teachers saw enjoyment of reading increase among children

The Time to Read programme is funded by the participating business and by a donation from an anonymous funder through The Community Foundation for Ireland.

Time to Count

28% of students in our DEIS schools are in the lowest level of maths achievement category while one in every 4 Irish adults struggles with basic maths (Pisa, 2013).

Time to Count, now in its third year, strives to address this. It is a numeracy support primary programme for children in third class, which aims to build children’s confidence, enjoyment and conceptual understanding in solving mathematical problems, through fun games and activities.

Business volunteers are matched up with three children for each weekly session, getting involved by playing games using decks of cards, die, maths stories, word problems and graphs. Over an 8-10 week period, each volunteer completes at least four numeracy sessions, lasting 30 minutes in length.

All business volunteers who partake in this programme receive training in advance which provides volunteers with the desired outcomes, programme details, feedback and support elements, child protection guidelines and numeracy strategies.

Company employees are also encouraged to talk about what they do, and how maths is used in their lives and workplace, showing how a love of maths can help the children in the future. The impacts of the programme are measured and reported back to both the business and the school after completion of the programme.

Download our most recent Time to Count National Impact Report

View our Time to Count overview

Business Quote “Having not volunteered in a school environment before, I was a tiny bit anxious before the programme commenced. Thankfully, any fears I had proved irrelevant, and I really, really enjoyed the Time to Count programme! It was a lovely volunteering experience and the girls I was meeting and playing with each week were a joy! I laughed so much.”

The “I’m no good at maths” mantra the child had built in her head was banished.”

The Time to Count programme is funded by Dormant Accounts Funding administered by the Department of Education which enables us to expand and develop the programme.

World of Work

The World of Work programme provides 2nd year post-primary school students with an opportunity to meet employees from a local company in order to learn about the world of work. It facilitates conversations and insights to the many roles in the workplace and inspires and encourages young minds to look towards the future.

The programme dovetails with the Junior Cycle curriculum and it takes place at a time that suits the business during the school year. It comprises of 5 sessions and there is local flexibility with the content.

Sessions include:

  • Meet & Greet
  • Day in the Life
  • Company site visit
  • Choice of: Presentation Skills, Communication Skills, Teamwork Skills
  • Optional Session: Personal Branding, Customer Service, Social Media, etc.
  • Wrap Up

Mock interviews offered to 5th year students as an option.

92% of students enjoyed all parts of the programme while 93% of teachers felt that the programme helped students to think about the world of work and life after school.

Download a copy of the World of Work National Evaluation Report 2020-21

View our World of Work overview

“It was a really positive experience for all involved. As a team of employees, we came together to be a part of something bigger and make an impact of the students’ lives which we hope will help them as they progress through school and into the world of work. It is something we are proud of and each year we can see more people wanting to get involved” – Company volunteer

“It’s a really good experience to get you thinking about your future and feel more prepared to go into the workplace.” – Student

Click here to learn about the World of Work partnership between Coillte and Duiske College, Co. Kilkenny

The World of Work programme is funded by Tusla as we continue to evolve and improve the impact of the programme.

Student Mentoring

Our Student Mentoring Programme strives to encourage students to stay in school, increase their self-esteem and develop an awareness of the workplace over the course of their senior cycle. The Mentoring programme involves a two-year commitment from an employee who agrees to be a mentor to one student during their senior cycle in school.

Over the two-year period, students meet with business employees for an hour every three weeks to discuss topics such as career potential or direction, researching college options, approaches to study, CV writing, interview preparation, etc. The mentor acts as an additional support to students to keep them focused on study and subtly communicating the importance of school completion.

Mentoring is one of the most powerful ways to support a young person achieve their true potential in life. Over 3000 students and mentors have participated to date.

96% of Company Volunteers said they would volunteer for the Student Mentoring programme again.

“Watching the development of my mentee over the course of the year was extremely rewarding. It was a great privilege to be involved in her personal growth.”- Company Volunteer

“I enjoyed having a “non-biased” adult to talk with about the world of work where I got to ask for advice about what to look out for in the future.” – Student

Download our most recent Student Mentoring Evaluation Report

Download our Student Mentoring Infographic

View our Student Mentoring Programme overview

Speaking at the Student Mentoring celebration, Minister Norma Foley acknowledged BITCI’s support. Click here to watch.

Time to GROW – TY Work Experience Programme

Does your company currently run a TY (Transition Year) Work Experience Programme or are you interested in offering work experience opportunities to students?

In BITCI we want to level the playing field for students from disadvantaged areas.  We are reaching out and asking companies to offer places on their TY programmes to students in DEIS schools.  This programme will support students who most need quality work experience pathways.

Our goal is to place 100 students on work experience in the current academic year.   Participating is a great opportunity to support Diversity and Inclusion strategies in businesses.

“The students were very engaged through the process. They fully committed to the visit and took time to work with each team they encountered. Their interest and participation made the visit very enjoyable and productive for all involved. I received great feedback from the other teams they visited also”. Company survey feedback. 

100% of companies who participated in the programme last year would recommend the programme to other companies.

Download our most recent Time to Grow National Impact Report.

If you are interested in participating, you can contact our BITCI Work Experience Coordinator – Paula Brady

basis.point is currently funding our mentoring programme and Time to GROW.

basis.point’s aim is to make a real contribution to improving educational opportunities for those in need in Ireland, particularly young people. basis.point provides grants to fund programmes and initiatives that focus on education which aim to make a sustainable and tangible difference to those living in poverty.

Summer Work Placement Programme

This programme sources Post Leaving Certificate Summer Internships for 6th year students in NEIC schools age 18+. Working in partnership with Irish Funds BITCI work to source 20 paid internships. The placement is 6-8 weeks during July/August and the participating company will pay the placement salary.

This programme funded through basis.point, aims to level the playing field for young people from areas of disadvantage.  It offers an introduction to working in the Funds Industry which may otherwise be difficult to access.  BITCI administers the programme and provides ongoing support to companies and schools.

100% of companies said they would recommend the SWPP to other companies

90% of students said that their self-confidence increased during the programme

“It is an excellent experience where you explore and learn about the company culture and get an insight into the real working environment which helped me to find what course and career I want to choose in the future”.  Student

“It is a wonderful way to give back to the community as well as benefitting the business with these bright, driven young individuals.” Company Coordinator. 

Download our most recent Summer Work Placement Programme Impact Report here.

If your company is interested in participating, you can contact our BITCI Work Experience Coordinator Paula Brady

Management Excellence for Principals

Management Excellence for Principals provides business leaders and principals an opportunity to network. The workshops held over the school year involve business leaders sharing their expertise and experience with educational leaders.

Workshop topics include: Leadership, Time Management, Performance Management, and PR and Marketing. Over 1,300 post-primary principals have participated to date.

Management Excellence for Principals programme is made possible through the generous funding of our strategic partner and sponsor since 2009, Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. Cornmarket share our vision to maximize the interaction between the leaders of the business and education sectors for the mutual benefit of both.

Download our most recent MEP Impact Report.

Download a copy of our MEP Overview

“I feel that I am learning to do my job better by participating in this project. It is an invaluable insight into the world of corporate companies. Everybody has made us feel welcome at all the seminars and information and insights have been, and will be most useful” – Principal at a Performance Management Seminar by IBM.

The MEP programmes is made possible through the generous funding of our strategic partner and sponsor since 2009, Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. Cornmarket share our vision to maximise interaction between the leaders of the business and education sectors for the mutual benefit of both.

Industry Insights for Teachers

Formerly called Management Excellence for Teachers (MET), Industry Insights for Teachers is an initiative that engages teachers with industry.

Through a series of seminars, this programme brings together industry leaders and educators to widen the knowledge which teachers can bring into the classroom to share with students.

An insight and understanding of industry trends adds real value to education professionals and engages education and business in a very effective way which benefits both sectors, with all the participating businesses equally valuing the collaboration.

“It’s important to hear from people who are doing the jobs so that we can make connections between their studies and careers.” – Teacher

“This type of event is hugely beneficial for teachers, especially teachers like myself who have been teaching for many years and very much appreciate some up-to-date input” – Teacher

Download our most recent Industry Insights National Evaluation Report

The Department of Education & Skills fully funds the Industry Insights for Teachers initiative.

Want to make an impact on education? Join the network.

For further information on these programmes please contact:

Andrea Lazenby Simpson
Head of Education

(01) 874 7232

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