4/02/2015 Yesterday Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) announced a milestone of 200 schools across Ireland who have partnered with companies to improve secondary level completion rates at the launch of Enterprise Rent-a-Car’s partnership with Gairmscoil na bPiarsach, Ros Muc, at NUIG, Galway. Enterprise Rent-a-Car will partner Gairmscoil na bPiarsach, Ros Muc, through BITCI’s Skills @ Work programme.
BITCI assists businesses in having a positive impact on the local communities in which they do business and the Schools Business Partnership Skills @ Work initiative gives local businesses across Ireland the opportunity to give valuable support to secondary level students by providing them with a unique and practical insight into the world of work and encouraging them to complete their secondary school education.
BITCI’s Skills @ Work programme matches schools with businesses across Ireland to engage the students in workshops and sessions that encourage school completion, while broadening students’ horizons about their future. The programme further gives students the opportunity to consider the many and varied career and study options open to them when they finish school. Research shows that if a student can aspire to a career and see the link between education and work, then they are much more likely to complete their education to Leaving Certificate. Since its foundation in 2001 BITCI’s Schools Business Partnership has contributed to Ireland’s secondary school retention rate increasing from 80 per cent to 90.3 per cent.
Feedback from participant companies indicates that employees are gaining a huge amount from participating in the programme, including improving their own listening, communication and interpersonal skills. The programme is further helping the companies engage with their staff.
Commenting on the success of the Schools Business Partnership programme, Germaine Noonan, Schools Programme Manager, Business in the Community Ireland, said:
“We congratulate Enterprise-Rent-a – Car on their partnership with Gairmscoil na bPiarsach, Ros Muc, and on being part of this important milestone for the Schools Business Partnership programme. Since its foundation in 2001 the programme has successfully reached many milestones, including 129 companies participating, 200 schools matched and 309 school business links established. Over 25, 000 students have participated to date in the Skills @ Work Programme with a total of 28, 000 of students availing of this valuable support in all of our programmes to date.”
“The Skills @ Work Programme gives the students a very honest insight into Ireland’s top workplaces showing them critical learnings such as how businesses develop their staff, workplace etiquette and different job roles. This support is vital in shaping these young people’s futures; therefore we would encourage all businesses in Ireland to get involved.”
Over the coming months, the students from Gairmscoil na bPiarsach, Ros Muc will have the opportunity to learn more about Enterprise Rent-a-Car and its business through a series of sessions, workshops and a site visit. In turn, Enterprise-Rent-a-Car will work with the students to help them understand the practical elements of employment, such as applying for jobs, presenting for interviews and being a good employee.
Speaking at yesterday’s launch at NUIG, Galway, George O’Connor, Managing Director, Enterprise Rent- a- Car commented:
“We are delighted to be involved in such a landmark occasion for BITCI’s Schools Business Partnership Programme. We are also pleased to have the opportunity to give students from Gairmscoil na bPiarsach, Ros Muc an insight into the world of work and help them understand the practical elements of employment and the benefits of remaining in education. They will get an opportunity to see exactly what we do at the Enterprise-Rent-a-Car facility in Galway and the contribution of varying staff roles within the company. We look forward to working with the students from Gairmscoil na bPiarsach in the coming months.”
BITCI report that 96 per cent of the 3,190 students who took part in the Skills @ Work programme nationwide during 2014 would recommend it to another student. Speaking at the launch, third level student Murella Burke, a past pupil of Scoil Pobal Mhic Dara, Carna, Co. Galway and a participant of the programme said:
“This programme helped me to prepare in a very real way for college and the outside world as I gained experience in strong interviewing skills. I also saw how great companies develop their people. It made a huge difference to my life.”
Pictured above: George O’Connor, Managing Director, Enterprise Rent- a- Car and Gairmscoil na bPiarsach, Ros Muc students