Tipperary, Clare and Limerick Record New Participation Levels in Schools’ Business Partnership Programme

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

by Eleanor Walsh, BITCI

Dew Valley Foods and Teleflex are joining an esteemed group of companies who already are enjoying solid partnerships with schools in the region.  These are Marks & Spencer (Clonmel), Cook Medical, Vistakon, Carambola Kidz, Kirby Group, Limerick IT, Boots (William St), Analog Devices Ireland, Shannon Group and ESB (Kilrush).

23.06.15 REPRO FREE A group of students from the senior cycle programme at Ennis Community College have got an insight into the diversity of employment opportunities that await them as part of a volunteer programme with Shannon Group plc to encourage school completion. Through a partnership between Shannon Group and the Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) programme, 22 students from the Ennis school got to experience a variety of job profiles in the Group through a series of engagements with the company. During the eight week BITCI ÔSkills @ WorkÕ programme, the students got to hear about the structure of Shannon Group, who they are and what they do and their value to the local economy.Ê They got to meet staff at the airport including the operations management, fire staff, security staff and customs staff. Taking part in the innovative at he Shannon Airports Fire and Rescue service, were, Eleanor Walsh, Business in The Community, Grainne Ni Nuallain, Gael Colaiste an Clar, Chris O'Donovan. Shannon Group HR Director and and Richard Moloney, Shannon Airport Fire and Rescue Service. Picture: Alan Place.

As spring of 2016 unfolds, so too begin the celebrations that for the first time since it’s inception in 2001, all schools in Tipperary, Limerick and Clare identified by the Dept. of Education and Dept. of Children and Youth Affairs have a business partner. Business in the Community Ireland have established these under its Schools’ Business Partnership programme. In particular, it is an exciting time for Newport College, who have a new partner in Teleflex in Annacotty and Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed in Thurles who are now partnered with Dew Valley Foods.

The programmes are supported by the Government as part of the Schools’ Completion Programme which endeavours to help and support students to complete the Senior Cycle.

The programme really benefits students who get to see how a local business operates, to meet the staff working there and to hear about their life experiences. It makes a connection between where students are at and where they want to go; between the subjects that they are studying in school and careers that they would be successful in. The programme also helps company employees to engage in a programme outside of their normal work duties while helping their presentation, communication and creative thinking skills.

Mr. Tim Dooley, MD of Dew Valley Foods announcing the partnership at the school said:

“It is extremely important that students are fully aware of potential job opportunities within their communities. This programme is beneficial for the local economy and can assure the future staffing needs of our company along with providing skilled workers for other local businesses and prospective businesses.”

Ms Claire Sullivan from Newport College values the partnership tremendously

“Newport College is delighted to be partnering with such a significant company as Teleflex. This programme has a huge impact on students who partake, most notably on their motivation and determination to complete their studies. It shows students the many careers they may endeavour to consider, many of which are unheard of until they meet with the employees. Many students reiterate the fact that for them it puts their studies into perspective and to this end reveals without any doubt the partnerships success.”

LITGiven that the recent CSO figures have identified that the percentage of persons aged under 25 on the Live Register now stands at 12.4% for January 2016, down from 13.7% in January 2015 and 15.1% in January 2014, we hope that initiatives like this and others are contributing to the improvement in outcomes for our young students but we clearly still have work to do.  However, the national figure for retention of students in post-primary schools has hit the 90% mark, moving from 81.3% in 10 years, increasing steadily even throughout the boom, which is a great endorsement of school completion initiatives like these and while the credit really comes down to the students, their families and educators, I think businesses can take a bow too!

Welcome Dew Valley Foods and Teleflex