We entered into a partnership with Ennis Community College (a DEIS school) as part of the BiTC Skills@Work Programme. When surveyed, our employees had nominated education as the number social cause they’d like to tackle, so the opportunity to work with disadvantaged students was a good match.
Following an initial meeting with teachers from the school and our BiTC coordinator we mapped out a program of six sessions, to be held over five months.
We kicked off by hosting the 22 students from their LCVP (Leaving Cert Vocational Programme) on a site visit to our offices in Shannon. Over the course of four hours we shared insights into working life at ZAGG, brought them on a tour of our offices and warehouse, and held various break-out sessions where ZAGG employees talked about their personal career journeys.
The remainder of the sessions were spent in the classroom working with students on various career related activities. These included CV prep, mock interviews and a marketing campaign assignment designed to to build the students’ confidence and help prepare them to secure work experience. We also hosted one student from the school on a week’s work experience at our offices
In total 27 employees (over half our workforce) engaged with the students in some capacity over the course of the 5 sessions. Everyone who took part spoke about how much they enjoyed the experience and how it had opened their eyes to the challenges faced by less fortunate members of their community.
“It was especially rewarding for those of us who were involved with the students from the start. We really got to know them and could see their progression first hand,” said Adrian Fennell, CSR Site Lead, ZAGG Brands.
The undoubted highlight of the five months was the wrap-up session when the students “took control” and presented to a delegation from ZAGG, the school principal and their teachers. It was great to see how confident all the students were speaking in front of a large group and we were delighted to present them with their programme completion certificates. Their teachers also commented on how many of them had matured and became more focused on their studies thanks to our efforts.
“A sincere thank you to the ZAGG team for the wonderful opportunities that you have presented for our students. The impact has been immense and even though it takes some time for it to be seen, rest assured that the support you provided will have a very positive influence on how our students progress,” said Brian O’Donoghue, Principal, Ennis Community College
ZAGG and the school are looking forward to continuing the Skills@Work Programme with next year’s LCVP students.