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Employee volunteering programmes for Education

Business in the Community Ireland

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 proven programmes also support a company’s diversity and inclusion agenda by providing access to a wider pool of potential talent in your community.

By joining our network, you can access our Business Action on Education programmes.

Through Business Action on Education, we provide a wide range of employee volunteering opportunities ranging from primary school initiatives to continuous professional development for principals. Below is a snapshot of the range of opportunities available.

Choose a corporate volunteering programme:

Time to Read provides children in second class, aged seven to nine, 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. All business volunteers who partake in this programme receive comprehensive training in advance. Up to ten volunteers from a company can participate at any one time.

Each weekly session consists of the volunteer reading one to one for 30 minutes each with two children. The children and their volunteers and parents then have a visit to their local public library and a workplace visit of all the children to the participating company.  The business and child impact is measured and a report provided to each participating business at the conclusion of the programme.

Download a copy of the Time to Read brochure for further information.

Download a copy of the Time to Read Evaluation Report 2020

Download our Time to Read infographic

Click here to see RTE Nationwide featuring Time to Read with the ESB’s CEO, Pat O’Doherty speaking about the business benefits of participation.

Business Quote: “My colleagues thoroughly enjoyed themselves during the program. There would be a great buzz in the offices on our return from the reading session and a sense of “team spirit” between the reading buddies.”

One in every 4 Irish adults struggles with basic maths (Pisa, 2013). Consider how that impacts their children and the support they can offer.

Time to Count addresses that need as a numeracy support 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.

Between eight and 16 volunteers can be involved, with each matched with up to three children for each session, playing games using decks of cards, die, maths stories, word problems and graphs. Over an eight-week period, each volunteer completes at least four numeracy sessions, lasting 30 minutes in length.

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 a copy of the Time to Count Evaluation Report 2019.

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.

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 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.

“This is a great way to achieve your CSR agenda and play a part in attracting the talent of the future.” Company volunteer

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 employees who agree to be a mentor to one student during their senior cycle in school.

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

In 2018, 95% of respondents surveyed would recommend the Mentoring Programme to a friend or colleague

“This was my first time to mentor and it was an extremely enjoyable experience. The support and feedback from the school and BITCI really helped make us feel like we were providing the best support possible to the students”.- Volunteer in 2018

basis.point is funding an expansion of this programme. In particular, the focus is on increasing the number of participating companies from the funds industry.

basis.point is the Irish Fund industry’s initiative to make a difference to those in need. basis.point’s aim is to make a real contribution to improving educational opportunities for those in need in Ireland, particularly young people.

Management Excellence for Principals and Teachers involves business leaderssharing their expertise and experience with educational leaders through a series of workshops over the school year. Workshop topics include: Leadership, Time Management, Performance Management and PR and Marketing. Almost 1000 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 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.

The Department of Education & Skills fully funds the Management Excellence for Teachers & STEM Seeing is believing series.


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

For further information on these programmes please contact:

Germaine Noonan
Programme Manager The Schools’ Business Partnership

(01) 874 7232

gnoonan@bitc.ie