1,200 Students Get Workplace Insights from Business Mentors

BITCI News - Apr 30, 2012

Monday, April 30th 2012: Over 1,200 post primary students gain workplace insights from individual business mentors. The Schools Business Partnership, Mentoring Programme pairs students with a business mentor to encourage students to stay in school, increase their self-esteem and develop an awareness of the workplace. Today, over 90 of the most recent student participants will receive certificates of completion from Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD.

The Mentoring programme involves a two year commitment from volunteer employees who agree to be a one to one mentor to senior post primary students. Over the two year period, the employees and the students discuss potential career paths, approach to study, CV writing and interview preparation.

“It is so important for young people today to have strong business role models to aspire to at an important decision making crossroads in their lives. For many students the professional environment is daunting and presents many uncertainties but by breaking down the barriers between, school, education and business these mentors are really helping to open students eyes to the possibilities that await them in the future” said Tina Roche, CEO, Business in the Community Ireland at today’s event. Business in the Community Ireland is a business network dedicated to corporate responsibility and manages the Schools Business Partnership programme.

The students shadow the employee in the workplace and the mentor acts as an additional support to the student to keep them focused on study and the importance of school completion.

“Advice given by my mentor about school, exams, stress, picking a college, choosing a career; nothing beats advice from someone who’s been through what I’m going through. It really helped me to focus on what I could achieve and what I could aspire to do in the future.” Student participant, C.B.S. Westland Row.

Schools and companies involved in this year’s programme included KPMG with CBS Westland Row; Diageo with Presentation Secondary School, Warrenmount; State Street International with Kilkenny Vocational School; Johnson & Johnson with Tallaght Community School; Office Depot with Mercy College, Coolock; Allianz Worldwide Care with St. Dominic’s Secondary School, Ballyfermot; Microsoft Ireland with St. Tiernan’s Community School, Balally; Investec  Ireland with Marino College, Dublin and Kraft with Deansrath Community College, Dublin.

“We have been running this programme for nearly ten years and I have seen a number of examples of students who would not have progressed to third level education without this course. It provides a unique experience for both the student and the mentor. For a mentor the experience is very rewarding as they have the opportunity to give a really valuable contribution to a young person at a very important time in their lives.”  Tina Roche, CEO, Business in the Community Ireland.

The Schools Business Partnership is managed by Business in the Community Ireland a corporate responsibility advisory organization and is funded under the National Development Plan and is also strongly supported by business. Marks and Spencer Ireland is the lead sponsor and Cornmarket also supports the programme both financially and developmentally over a number of years.