Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) was joined by Louth businesses, teachers, students and special guest Stephen Kenny, Manager, Dundalk FC to celebrate 20 years of industry-education partnerships in Louth, kindly hosted by Prometric.
The morning event focused on JAI’s mission to inspire and motivate primary and second level students to maximize their potential by valuing education and understanding how to succeed in the world of work.
Special guest Stephen Kenny, Dundalk FC commented on how “JA programmes instil a drive and determination in students, assisting them in maximising their potential and being the best they can be. This is something I am extremely passionate about and I am delighted to celebrate Junior Achievement’s 20th anniversary and recognise the important work they are doing in the Louth area.”
Speaking from an educational perspective, Audrey Flood, TY Coordinator, O’Fiaich College stated that, “JA programmes are an essential learning experience for the students in O’Fiaich College by "inspiring young minds". They establish an essential link for our school with local businesses and provide our students with an opportunity to hear first-hand about the world of work and entrepreneurship. The programmes reinforce the work we are doing in the school and help to equip the students with the skills they need going forward into further education and employment, including financial literacy skills, entrepreneurial skills, decision making skills, communication skills etc. The programmes are age appropriate for the different year groups and hold the attention of the leaners because of their interactive nature. Junior Achievement opens the student's minds to innovative ways of thinking and encourages them to consider career options from a young age by planting the seed of achievement, attainment, and progression.”
The breakfast briefing attendees experienced first-hand the learning impacts of a JA programme as 5th class students, Chloe Durnin O’Brien, Justine Carroll, Oisin Coleman and Tadhg Dowdall (all aged 11) from Scoil Mhuire na nGael National School shared their experience of the 'Our World' programme, which was delivered by business volunteer Amy Clinton from Prometric. The students demonstrated their newly-acquired knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. They shared their learnings on how technology and communications are critical growth areas in the global marketplace and they demonstrated their knowledge of entrepreneurship and global trade connections.
Hosting the event, Brendan Gallagher, Director, Prometric provided a business perspective of why Prometric are involved in JAI, “In terms of staff development, JAI is a fantastic mechanism for our organisation’s training and development goals as not only are the students left feeling inspired and motivated to achieve their full potential, it also enhances the skill-set of our workforce, from presentation skills to time management and teamwork to name a few. It is certainly a rewarding and fulfilling experience for our team and something Prometric is proud to be a part of.”
Helen Raftery, CEO of Junior Achievement Ireland, said “We at Junior Achievement Ireland truly appreciate the generosity of business leaders in the Louth Region in enabling almost 1500 students to participate in JA programmes and events during the 2016/17 school year”. In highlighting why JA programmes are so impactful, she said: “research shows us that helping young people to see the relevance of their academic studies to their everyday lives is a vital factor in persuading them to stay in school and to take maximum advantage of the opportunity that education offers.”