In April, BITCI celebrated the remarkable achievement of 8 companies: Allianz Partners, Elavon, Horse Racing Ireland, IBM, IFS, Investec and Office Depot reaching a milestone of 10 years in partnership with their local school. Building long lasting and transformative partnerships is key to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals. Keep Reading to hear some reflections from those involved:
“The 10 year relationship between Elavon and Glenart College has demonstrated to almost 250 students, in our locality, that Elavon cares about their future; our employees are willing to spend time with them, explaining how business and innovation works. In doing so, we prepare them for life after school, equipping them with a toolkit for success. We encourage and help them to understand how they can build better futures by remaining in education, obtaining employment, helping them become contributors to their families’, and their communities’, success. We have not only enjoyed delivering the programme over 10 years, but also evolving it to suit the next generation. Dealing with the students gives us a wonderful perspective and we certainly gain as much from the experience as they do”. – Maria Carroll, Elavon
“I like to make a difference and do something that I feel that can really achieve that on an individual or group basis. The Skills @ Work programme gave me a wonderful opportunity to do exactly this. It brought together my own skill set and enabled me to work with a local school within the structure of my own working day. I have been able to utilise my work network accordingly and involve other volunteers so it has made a difference to them and the students with whom they have worked”. Ann Patton, IBM
“Office Depot chose to get involved with BITC to give something back to the local community, as part of our CSR policy. 10 years on instead of being something we feel we ‘need’ to do, it is something we love to do. We have formed an excellent relationship with the Mercy College in Coolock, we have been truly inspired by both the teaching staff and the students of the school. For us as individuals we have been able to pass on knowledge of the world of work, see our lives through the student’s eyes but most of all have fun while doing it. It is a commitment and this year we had some of our team involved for the first time, who have already volunteered for next year’s programme”. Paula Ronald, Office Depot
“Over the past 10 years students from the Leaving Cert Applied and students taking the Leaving Cert Vocational Programme have taken part in the Skills @ Work programme. This has given these students an insight into the world of work and the opportunity to make valuable connections for their future with some students completing their work experience with IFS also. Students gain valuable interview experience and get to improve their communication skills by interacting with adults in a business environment. After the onsite visits students have been more motivated and less intimidated by the prospect of working in office environment. Students have also expressed a sense of pride in having been to partake in the programme. It also gives them something to add to their CVs as an achievement and something to discuss in an interview at some time in their future”. Michelle Costigan, Piper’s Hill College
“Investec is committed to helping communities in which it works and to ‘providing an out of the ordinary experience’. This is very evident in its partnership with Marino College. This partnership has been of tremendous benefit to the lives and life chances of the participating students. While the benefits cannot be quantified they are however real, active and immeasurable. Investec mentors are the backbone of this partnership and give the students the very valuable gift of their time. They meet with the students at regular intervals throughout the school year and mentor students on various areas such as improving communication skills, IT skills, C.V.’s, interview techniques, help with English language, building self esteem and confidence as well as providing that all important listening ear over a cup of hot chocolate! At a celebration held in Marino College to mark their 10th anniversary in partnership with Investec students testified to the tremendous benefit and huge positive difference this partnership has made to their lives. By living out their motto to ‘provide an out of the ordinary experience’ Investec mentors help Marino College live out its motto: enabling, enhancing, educating”. Mary McAteer, Marino College.