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JAI Launches TESA – an Initiative to Support & Recognise Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education in Schools

  • Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D. launches The Entrepreneurial School Awards (TESA)
  • Best-in-class schools to be recognised with TESA accreditation
  • National winners to be announced at first annual TESA Summit in October 2019

NO FEE JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT 03Joe McHugh TD., Minister for Education and Skills, joined JAI CEO Helen Raftery and students from Drimnagh Castle Secondary School and Scoil Chaitríona Cailíní at the the launch of TESA

JAI are delighted to launch a new awards scheme to showcase excellence in entrepreneurship education, which has been officially announced by Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD. Details of the new scheme, which includes a prize fund of €10,000, were provided at a special event in The Marker Hotel Dublin, to celebrate 100 years of Junior Achievement (JA). The Entrepreneurial School Awards (TESA) will celebrate the hard work and achievements of primary and second level schools across the country which endeavour to develop entrepreneurial skills in students.

AM8I5833Joe McHugh TD., Minister for Education and Skills, launches TESASpeaking at this morning’s event, Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD said: “I am delighted to launch The Entrepreneurial School Awards with Junior Achievement Ireland today. The awards are a great opportunity to shine a light on the innovative work done by schools in preparing our young people to achieve success in their lives and in the workplace of the future. The shape of the workplace a decade from now and what jobs people will be doing is difficult to imagine. What we do know is that we need to prepare our young people with entrepreneurial skills. We need to equip young people with the confidence, adaptability and attitude required to prepare for such an unpredictable future."

Entrepreneurship education, as defined by the European Commission, covers all activities that seek to give individuals the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to achieve the goals they set for themselves to live a fulfilled life. Those skills include the ability to think positively, to identify opportunities, to have confidence in oneself as well as to set and achieve personal and professional goals. These skills are essential to preparing children for the future work place and to achieve success in their lives after they finish school.

AM8I5715The launch of TESA was announced at a JA 100 Celebration in The Marker Hotel attended by leaders in business and educationSpeaking on behalf of JAI, Chief Executive Helen Raftery said: “In our work with schools across Ireland, we see at first-hand the incredible work being done to prepare students to achieve success in their futures. We are delighted that TESA will give us the opportunity to formally recognise that excellent work, as well as identifying an overall winner (TESA School of the Year), which will represent Ireland at the European Entrepreneurial School Awards in Helsinki in November. We encourage all partner schools to share the details of their commitment to entrepreneurship education and join us at the summit in October to engage with other educators in this field. Of course, there is also a chance to be designated best-in-class.”

Awards Process and the Announcement of the National Winner
The call for submissions will issue to JAI partner schools in mid-February. Schools will be notified in September if they have achieved the TESA accreditation in Year 1 and JAI is planning to accommodate delegates from over 100 schools to recognise achievements and engage in an educators’ summit in October.

All TESA-accredited schools will be eligible for the five national category prizes and one will be selected as ‘TESA School of the Year’. The school designated as Ireland’s most entrepreneurial school will also be invited to represent Ireland at the Entrepreneurial Schools Conference in Helsinki in November 2019.

The first annual TESA Summit
A highlight of the scheme will be the first annual TESA Summit. As well as announcing the five national category winners, the TESA Summit will allow schools to exchange best practice and to participate in specially-commissioned masterclasses with international experts in entrepreneurship education. The summit will encourage innovation and the continuous development of those working to provide opportunities for entrepreneurship education in our schools.

Clive Byrne, Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), said: “Entrepreneurship education is an essential element of holistic education and its importance will only grow in the future. We are delighted that JAI is recognising the work of teachers, principals and deputy principals, who often undertake this work on a voluntary basis.”

In echoing those views, David Ruddy, President of the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN), highlighted that in addition to the generous awards and bursaries, “the annual TESA Summit offers a unique opportunity for entrepreneurship educators to come together, to share best practice and to build a support network of like-minded educators and schools. We look forward to this contributing to this unique collaboration to support and complement the work of educators all over the country.”

For full details of the application process for TESA please visit: The Entrepreneurial School Awards (TESA) or email TESA@jai.ie 

NO FEE JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT 02Students from Scoil Chaitríona Cailíní, Coolock, Dublin 5 were on hand to demonstrate the skills they had practiced during their JA programmes

AM8I5757The JA 100 event featured a panel discussion on the The Future of Work with Gillian Nelis, managing editor of The Sunday Business Post; Peter Cosgrove, Skills & Talent Expert; Bob Lenz, Chief Executive of the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) and Dr Orlaigh Quinn, Secretary General of the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation

AM8I5815The girls from Scoil Chaitríona Cailíní lead the Minister and business leaders through an activity featured in the Our World programme

AM8I5712Peter Cosgrove provided a fascinating insight into the future of work

AM8I6025Helen Raftery, JAI CEO with students from Scoil Chaitríona Cailíní and Drimnagh Castle Secondary School, Dublin 12


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Limerick Students win Nationwide Safety Competition sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland

GNI PhotoWinning students Mark Doolan and Matthew Collins with Julie O’Donoghue, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Gas Networks Ireland and 6th Class Teacher Seamus Barry

Students from Ballybrown National School, Carrig East, Co. Limerick have won a nationwide competition to raise awareness of Carbon Monoxide and the dangers that it can pose in our homes.

6th class students Mark Doolan and Matthew Collins had taken part in the Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) Energize programme which is run in partnership with Gas Networks Ireland (GNI).

The competition featured hundreds of entries from all over Ireland however Mark and Matthew’s poster, featuring creative imagery and a poem about the dangers of carbon monoxide, was deemed first among equals. Thanks to the efforts of Mark and Matthew, their class received a prize presented by Gas Networks Ireland. Further carbon monoxide poster competitions will take place in next two school terms. The students were guided by their Energize programme volunteer Andy Cunningham from Dell and teacher Seamus Barry.

Class Teacher Seamus Barry said: “The Energize programme was a wonderful way to introduce the practical side of science to students. The carbon monoxide poster competition really grabbed my class’s attention and the fact that Mark and Matthew’s entry won is the cherry on the cake.  Thanks to Andy from Dell for his work with the students – he was a great role model for the working world - and Gas Networks Ireland for supporting such an important initiative.”

GNI 2The winning entry from Mark and MatthewCarbon monoxide awareness is an important element of the recently launched Gas Networks Ireland supported Energize programme. Energize will introduce science to over 5,000 primary school students all over Ireland with the help of 200 volunteers from local businesses who will be trained, facilitated and supported by Junior Achievement Ireland. The overall aim of the programme is to cultivate an interest in science so that students continue with the subject to second level education.

Ian O’Flynn, Head of Commercial and Corporate Affairs at Gas Networks Ireland commented: “At Gas Networks Ireland, we’re big supporters of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), as they are at the centre of our business. Our long-term objective in supporting STEM education is to develop students’ interest in STEM subjects, with the ultimate aim of inspiring the workforce of the future to pursue STEM careers.   This is the first year of our new primary school STEM programme, Energize, which contains an important module about the dangers of carbon monoxide and the warning signs of poisoning.

Congratulations to the students at Ballybrown National School for winning the Term 1 Energize art competition.  I’m delighted that so many schools have already engaged with Energize and that we’ve received entries to our carbon monoxide safety poster competition from schools across Ireland. Most importantly, more students are now aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and will be able to spot the warning signs in the future”.

We are now accepting entries for all Term 2 posters. See more details at https://www.jai.ie/our-programmes/energize-competition.html.

If you would like to register your interest in having Energize delivered in your school, please contact Junior Achievement Ireland at info@jai.ie

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Young Entrepreneurs Inspired by Údarás na Gaeltachta Companies Programme

141218 24 2Éabha Ní Mhaoilbhín, Megan NÍ Fhlátharta, Sarah Ní Conchubhair, Róisín Ní Phrionsias and Kyra Ní Riain of Coláiste na Coiribe playing their ‘Banda’ game Seán Kyne T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht at the launch of Údarás na Gaeltachta - Clár na gComhlachtaí 2018-19

This year more than 750 Transition Year students are looking forward to taking part in Údarás na Gaeltachta’s - Clár na gComhlachtaí which encourages budding entrepreneurs in the Gaeltacht areas of Cork, Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Meath, Kerry and Waterford to develop their own mini-enterprises and compete in a national final.

Seán Kyne T.D., Chief Whip and Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht officially launched the 2018/19 programme in Coláiste na Coiribe, in Galway today (14/12/2018) and students from the school were on hand to give a preview of some of the innovative ideas that have emerged so far during this year’s programme.

141218 32Helen Raftery, Junior Achievement Ireland, Eimear Ní Chonchúir, Coláiste na Coiribe, Seán Kyne T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, Údaras na Gaeltachta and Rebecca Delaney, Coláiste na Coiribe Clár na gComhlachtaí is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) and is taught through the Irish language to students attending schools in Gaeltacht regions. The programme is well-established in post primary schools in Gaeltacht areas and has grown significantly in participation over recent years. The programme provides numerous opportunities for the development and reinforcement of important academic and leadership skills.

Local business volunteers and development executives from Údarás na Gaeltachta mentor the students alongside their teachers as they move from the idea generation stage, to production, marketing, sales, finance right through to going to market.

Minister Kyne commented, “The entrepreneurial skills and practical business experience developed through Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Clár na gComhlachtaí will no doubt be of long-term benefit to the Gaeltacht as these young people move on and become the heart of the Gaeltacht economy. Údarás na Gaeltachta and Junior Achievement Ireland are to be congratulated for continually increasing participation in the programme in all Gaeltacht areas.”

The students will take part in Regional Finals in March 2019 where they will showcase their finished products at trade stands and be interviewed by a judging panel before pitching their business ideas on stage to a public audience. The regional finals are an opportunity for the students to demonstrate the knowledge gained and the skills acquired in the course of the programme. Successful regional finalists will then progress to a National Final in April 2019.

11 Claür Comhlachta JAI UDARASBoue Cosmetics, comprising of Grace Ní Chonchúr, Kate Ní Chnáimhsí, Aifric Nic Niallais, Clionagh Nic Suibhne, Molly Nic Pháidín and Caitlin James were Winners of the Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár na gComhlachtaí 2018Last year’s national final winners were BOUE, a company from Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal. BOUE developed their own line of skincare products made from moss peat, seaweed and other natural ingredients.

Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta, commented that “Údarás na Gaeltachta is dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship in Gaeltacht areas and we would like to thank Junior Achievement Ireland for their continued partnership in delivering this programme. The Clár na gComhlachtaí programme is an ideal opportunity to instil a sense of entrepreneurship in our younger generations which will lead to an even brighter future for Gaeltacht areas. I would like to wish all the students the best of luck with their projects.

On behalf of JAI, Chief Executive Helen Raftery said: “Entrepreneurship education programmes led by role models from outside the school community complement the work of our teachers and assist in skills development as well as broadening of career possibilities. Thanks to Údarás na Gaeltachta, Clár na gComhlachtaí students in Gaeltacht areas throughout the country will benefit greatly from this real to life entrepreneurial experience.

Based on research on entrepreneurship education, students participating in Údarás Clár na gComhlachtaí are more likely to start their own business, are at lower risk of being unemployed, and are more often in steady employment into adulthood. These projected outcomes are based on the success schemes around Europe, which incorporate the JA Company Programme, on which the design of Clár na gComhlachtaí is based.

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Futurewize Programme on an Upward Trajectory in 2019

STEM role models inspire next generation of scientists, coders, engineers and tech entrepreneurs

NO FEE FUTUREWIZE 4Project Ambassador Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin with Futurewize student Khadidja Ouidah from Assumption Secondary School Walkinstown

JAI is delighted to announce plans to further scale our successful Futurewize programme up to the end of 2019. Originally launched in 2016, the classroom-based Futurewize programme is aimed at inspiring young Junior Cycle students to explore a new world of career possibilities that are opened up through the study of STEM-related subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). 

An evaluation of the first phase of the Futurewize programme showed that 77 percent of student participants are now interested in studying STEM-related subjects after school, while 99 percent of participating teachers would recommend it to colleagues. On foot of these encouraging results additional funding was secured from the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme. Designed by JAI and developed for delivery in classrooms by business volunteers, this year more than 3,500 students across 150 classes will complete the Futurewize programme facilitated by 150 trained volunteers from STEM-related roles. The programme will continue to involve no fewer than 60 percent female participation levels.

Futurewize 3Students from Loreto College Crumlin after completion of their Futurewize programmeBy the end of 2019, it is estimated that nearly 24,000 students will have completed the Futurewize programme in combination with the Smart Futures module, which is also promoted as a function of the collaboration between SFI and JAI.  Futurewize is aligned with the strands of the Junior Cycle science curriculum, and the physical, biological, and chemical worlds; and Earth and Space complement government policy including the aims of the Action Plan for Education 2016-2019 and the National Skills Strategy 2025.

Having trained role models from industry working with 13-14 year olds in their own classrooms once a week for five weeks, Futurewize aims to show Junior Cycle students the importance and relevance of STEM related subjects. These role models from industry share their own real-life experiences as they work through the Futurewize modules.       

Research on the ‘role model effect’ has indicated the strong influence that a positive role model, particularly for girls, can play in changing perceptions and dispelling gender-stereotypes in STEM careers.

AM8I8540The Royal Irish Academy welcomed a full house for 'The Importance of Role Models in STEM Education' event To coincide with the next stage of the Futurewize programme JAI enjoyed the opportunity to invite supporting organisations from education and industry to participate in an event entitled ‘The Importance of Role Models in STEM Education’.

An expert panel, moderated by Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, considered the impact of role models while students from Assumption Secondary School Walkinstown shared their learnings from the Futurewize programme. LinkedIn's Wendy Murphy provided a keynote address which shared some data on the future of work for which we must help young people prepare.

Speaking after the event, Helen Raftery, CEO at JAI, said: “A volunteer from the ‘real world’ has significant educational impact in helping students to see the relevance of their studies and their post-school choices. Entrepreneurship education programmes such as Futurewize, which are delivered by role models from industry and business complement the work of our teachers by providing opportunities for skills development as well as introducing students to a range of career possibilities.  We are delighted that the Futurewize programme has delivered on its objectives to date and we look forward to scaling further in order to positively impact on even more students over the next 12 months.”

Commenting on its support for the Futurewize programme up to the end of 2019, Margie McCarthy, Interim Director of Innovation and Education at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support Junior Achievement Ireland in running Futurewize, a fantastic initiative funded by the SFI Discover Programme.  Joining forces with Smart Futures, Futurewize demonstrates the diverse STEM career opportunities available to students in Ireland by creating a space in which they can interact with superb role models.  Encouraging these meaningful interactions empowers and inspires young people to start thinking about their future study and career paths, allowing them to learn of real life workplace experiences and to kickstart their journeys towards becoming the innovators of the future.”

Students presenting 1Students from Assumption Secondary School Walkinstown were on hand to speak about their experience of the Futurewize programme

Panel in discussion 1Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin moderated a panel of industry and education experts consisting of Paula Neary, Accenture Ireland; Liz O'Donnell, MSD; Arthur Godsil, Godsil Education and Margie McCarthy, SFI

Wendy speakingWendy Murphy, EMEA Director Global Clients - LinkedIn Talent Solutions, provided a keynote address on the future of work

JA Speaker GroupThank you to our speaker group for their insightful participation

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Enterprise in Action in Local Schools with Citi Volunteers

Citi volunteer Fran Burke tells us about his experience volunteering to teach the Enterprise in Action programme

Photo 2Fran Burke with Citi volunteers Caitriona Penston and Edna Lyatuu Hogan

For a number of years I have been involved in Junior Achievement programmes at the primary and second level. I always found the programmes really enjoyable and rewarding. The ultimate pleasure however was the idea of giving back to my former secondary school by delivering a programme there. I got in touch with the Junior Achievement team and thankfully they were able to accommodate this through their new Enterprise in Action programme which is supported by the Citi Foundation.
The programme itself was delivered over 5 weeks and the materials provided by the Junior Achievement team were well structured - allowing for interesting discussions and engagement with the class. The training in advance of the programme was excellent - networking with others delivering the same programme in different schools helped as it allowed me to discuss elements of my programme with others during the course of the 5 weeks and learn from their experiences as well as sharing my own.
IMG 0316At the launch of the Enterprise in Action programme were Ryan Conroy, student, St. Paul’s CBS; Sinead Henshaw, M.D. Operations Business & Chair of Community Affairs Group, Citi; Paschal Donohoe, T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform; Helen Raftery, CEO, JAI; Abieyuma Obasuyi, student, Loreto College Crumlin and Mary Kelleher, Transition Year Head, Loreto College CrumlinI always recommend Junior Achievement to colleagues here in Citi. In our roles we are constantly required to deliver materials and presentations as well as manage and coordinate meetings. The programmes themselves have a heavy emphasis on delivery but also time management to ensure you can deliver all the content effectively. In addition they help build confidence – you can’t stand in front of a group of transition year students unless you have done your preparation and research in advance! The skills you develop in delivering the course have helped me in other areas in my normal day to day role.
During the Enterprise in Action programme you present what it means to be an entrepreneur, the specific characteristics of an entrepreneur and discuss the benefits and possible challenges in starting a new business. The idea generation session was really great and allowed the students to get creative in identifying possible problems and solutions - I had ideas from motorised poop-scoopers to teleporters to the more practical locker valet services and school kits suppliers. Students go on to explore the identification of the target market and possible techniques to determine this before going into the topical use of social media in promoting a business. The final session then covers an interesting discussion on ethics and ethical dilemmas and prompted some interesting discussions on recognising the right thing to do. The programme encourages creativity and a lot of discussion with the students. 

I especially enjoyed the interaction with the students and being part of the creative process. It was a great experience for me to go back to a school I am very proud to have been part of, very little has changed but it is good to give the benefit of my experiences throughout the programme. I am just waiting on Junior Achievement to confirm whether the terms of the programme include 5% of the profits of any businesses started following successful completion – if I ever see a motorised pooper-scooper I can say I know that guy!

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