Students from three Dublin schools have graduated from a unique work readiness programme for senior cycle students at a special event hosted by AIB at its new HQ on Molesworth Street.
Career Ready is managed by JAI on behalf of the Citi Foundation to enable 30 specially-selected senior cycle students’ involvement in a range of activities designed to increase their work readiness including: being paired with a business mentor for 18 months, visiting workplaces, attending masterclasses, participating in an overseas educational trip and completing work placements. This unique initiative is supported by a wide array of business and industry leaders who see the benefit for students as they come to recognise their potential, develop their employability skills, enhance their academic progress and introduce them to the world of work. The 2017-2019 cohort comprises thirty students from St. Paul’s CBS, North Brunswick St; Loreto College, Crumlin and Our Lady of Mercy, Beaumont.
On behalf of Citi, the lead sponsor, Sinead Henshaw, Global Head of Account Services and JAI Director, congratulated all involved from both Citi and all of the other supporting partners, and said: “Research bears out the great value in involving volunteers from the world of work when trying to help young people make connections between what they are studying in school and the ‘real world’. For my colleagues & I Career Ready offers a structured, well-designed and meaningful programme to support students from local communities. When they join us on internships and participate in masterclasses, they remind all of us of the diverse range of talents that go into making up a successful team. It is always energizing to share their youthful enthusiasm!"
Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Tom Brabazon joined the students to celebrate the completion of the two year work readiness programme and commend all of the mentors and other business people involved in supporting the Career Ready initiative. In acknowledging the achievements of the students, Deputy Lord Mayor said: “By challenging themselves to apply for and participate in the Career Ready programme, these young people have taking their first steps in shaping their own futures. By completing this programme they have acquired new skills and explored new interests. Most importantly – their determination to maximise their potential while being willing to accept help and support from others means they should have every confidence in their ability to achieve their goals in the future. I would like to congratulate them on their achievements and thank all involved for making this unique learning experience available to the next generation of leaders.”
Over the course of the morning graduates provided reflections on their Career Ready experience, no mean feat in front of 160 attendees. Guest speakers included Nicola Connolly-Byrne, Empowerment Specialist and Founder of I AM POSITIVE MINDSET, who connected directly with the graduates about belonging in every room, finding their tribe and taking responsibility for their own words & actions while Claire Bergin, CSR Manager in Deloitte, spoke from a mentor and corporate supporter's perspective. Attendees also had the pleasure of hearing from Adam Byrne, a Career Ready alumnus who provided his thoughts on the impact the programme had on his current career trajectory.
Mentors, masterclasses, workplace visits and internships for Career Ready 2017-19 were available to students because of the generosity of the following organisations: A&L Goodbody, Accenture, AIB, Arrow Group, Barclays, Central Bank of Ireland, Citi, Core, Criminal Courts of Justice, Deloitte, Diageo, Dublin City Council, Eisner Amper Ireland, Franklin Park, JLL, Optum Services, Paul Dicker Consulting and Standard Life.
Mary Kelleher, Transition Year Coordinator in Loreto College Crumlin, commented on the importance of Career Ready for her students: “Career Ready comprises an incredible set of opportunities for students to gain insights into the working world. Engaging with professionals from a wide range of industries and enjoying masterclasses/ workshops in the workplace and so on really has a significant impact - opening students’ eyes to the range of possibilities that are available while helping them to see the relevance of their studies to their post-school choices.”
JAI CEO Helen Raftery reflected on the importance of role models in helping us learn and develop: "When caring adults are involved in education, students do better in school and life, adults become empowered, and schools and communities grow stronger. We are very grateful to Citi and all our corporate partners for their support of the Career Ready initiative and AIB for kindly hosting this event to celebrate the students and their mentors on the completion of the 2017-19 programme.”