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JA PM Skills for Life 113

100 Transition Year (TY) students from around the country enjoyed showcasing their newly-acquired project management skills at the PM Skills for Life Innovation Camp in the iconic Thomond Park Stadium, Limerick on 3rd May.

During the 2016/17 school year 500 transition year students from 15 schools across Carlow, Clare, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford have been learning about Project Management. PM Skills for Life is a 4-module programme facilitated by industry volunteers to bring TY students through the core principles of project management. It is a collaborative initiative between the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF) and JAI.

IMG 1858The Innovation Camp in Thomond Park brought together young project managers from all over the country who have excelled during the completion of the programme with expert PM volunteers from Dell, Northern Trust, Stryker and Shannon Engine Support to participate in a masterclass and complete a challenge. To get the day off to the best possible start, the students, their mentors and teachers in attendance heard from rugby legend David Wallace. Reflecting on his experiences with Munster, Ireland and the Lions, David shared his views on the factors that contribute to building an environment in which success can be achieved.

IMG 1938David, who was recently appointed as Business Development Manager for Bank of Ireland in the Munster region, remarked: “The projects undertaken as part of the PM Skills for Life programme embody qualities like ambition, excellence, integrity and community. These are the values which brought us such success during my time with Munster Rugby and it’s great to see them reflected in the choices, which the students made in applying themselves to their projects.”

Ethna Lyons, teacher in Laurel Hill Secondary School FCJ whose class had completed the PM Skills for Life programme, commented that “Having volunteers like Paul McMahon & Andy Cunningham from Dell come into the school to complete the PM Skills for Life programme was absolutely brilliant. The programme, including today’s Innovation Camp will, I believe, underlines for the students that they can successfully manage a project and overcome any challenge that they might encounter.

IMG 1873Those ideas on developing successful teams were put immediately to use in the course of the innovation camp where students worked in small groups with their peers from all over to the country to complete a challenge as part of their advanced project management workshop.

PMIEF Grants Manager Michelle Armstrong who attended the event said: “In the 21st century, the demand for skilled project managers is at an all-time high as organisations focus on higher productivity and greater customer satisfaction with minimum resources. The PMI Educational Foundation is delighted to have joined with Junior Achievement Ireland to educate students on the importance of project management as a skill set they will need for college, career, and lifelong success.”

Students were delighted to be given the chance to visit the Thomond Park Museum which completed an exciting day for them as well as their teachers and mentors.

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Students Manage their own Success with PM Skills for Life

Innovation Camp to Celebrate Young Project Managers

SE Kate Shields from Sanofi with students from De La SAlle CollegeVolunteer Kate Shields from Sanofi with students from De La Salle College, Waterford on their completion of the PM Skills for Life programme

100 transition year students from around the country have been nominated to take part in the PM Skills for Life Innovation Camp in Thomond Park Stadium on 3 May.

The Innovation Camp will celebrate young project managers who have excelled during the completion of the PM Skills for Life programme, a collaborative initiative between the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF) and Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI).

The PM Skills for Life programme enables students to understand, plan, carry out, monitor and evaluate a project of their own.  500 Transition Year students from 15 schools across Carlow, Clare, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford completed the programme this year.

The projects undertaken by the students ranged from social enterprises such as fundraisers for local charities to school integration events for younger students, and from mental health awareness campaigns to fundraising events to support school renovation appeals.  


Thank you to all the volunteers, from a host of supporting organisations, who assisted the students in developing the skills involved in working as an effective team to plan and run a successful project.  This form of real-to-life experience is absolutely invaluable in preparing students, like those pictured here from Assumption Secondary, Clondalkin, during their fundraising event, for fulfilling post-school careers. 

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PMIEF and JAI joined forces to present the opportunity for project management professionals to work with second level students to help them understand the benefits of acquiring and practising project management skills.

Students from the 15 schools will travel to Thomond Park Stadium on 3 May to complete an Innovation Camp, which will involve a masterclass from a guest speaker as part of an advanced project management workshop. They will also share their key learnings as project managers with their peers. A tour of the iconic stadium will complete an exciting day for the young project managers and their teachers and mentors.

Helen Raftery, CEO of Junior Achievement Ireland, commented that “We are grateful to PMIEF for the resources to run this initiative, and appreciate all of the time and expertise of our expert project management volunteers to promote student learning. Project management is both a practical 21st century life skill as well as critical business skill. Through experiential learning and a hands-on introduction to project management these students are better prepared for future success and have developed skills that will be beneficial to them irrespective of the career path they choose.”

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Galway Team Win Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár Comhlachta

Student Entrepreneurs Claim National Crown

JAI udaras entrepreneur awardsColáiste Chroí Mhuire pupils Liadh Robertson, Rebecca Ni Alluráin, Aoife Nic Chormaic, Blanca Ní Dhonnabhain and Maire Ní Fhrighil celebrate winning the Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár Comhlachta 

Cothú Cinnte, a company from Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal, Co. Galway was acclaimed as the winner of the Údarás na Gaeltachta - Clár Comhlachta 2017 at the national final held at the Connamara Coast Hotel on the 15th March.

With more than 500 Transition Year students taking part in Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Meath & Waterford, eight teams were ultimately selected to proceed to the national final. The standards set by these regional winners means the winner of the Clár Comhlachta can be regarded as particularly astute entrepreneurs.

Cothú Cinnte is comprised of Liadh Robertson, Rebecca Ní Alluráin, Aoife Nic Chormaic, Blanca Ní Dhonnabhain and Maire Ní Fhrighil. The company produces hand-painted, glazed dinner plates, depicting areas for starch, vegetables and protein. The areas are labelled as gaeilge and can be personalised when ordered! Their aim is to promote healthy eating and encourage people to include more vegetables in their diet. Cothú Cinnte was mentored by local business volunteer Barry Comerford from Cambus Medical.

98JAI udaras entrepreneur awardsFinalists Nuair a Bhíos Óg from Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, An Daingean at their trade standAlongside the winning company from Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal teams from Scoil Mhuire, Béal Átha'n Ghaorthaidh, Cork; Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, An Daingean, Kerry; Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara, Carna, Galway; Scoil Mhuire, Béal A' Mhuirthead, Mayo; Coláiste Pobail, Acla, Mayo; Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair, Leitir Ceanainn, Donegal; Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, Árainn Mhór, Donegal, represented their families, their business mentors and their schools with distinction at the national finals.

Clár Comhlachta 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. Based on the well-established JA Company Programme and Company of the Year Competition, students create, operate and manage their own business as they move from the idea generation stage, to production, marketing, sales, finance right through to going to market. The programme provides numerous opportunities for the development and reinforcement of important academic and leadership skills. Local business volunteers, each of whom is JAI UDARAS entrepreneur07Finalists Oileán na Síoga from Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, Árainn Mhór during their National Final presentationrecruited, trained and supported by JAI, mentor the students alongside their teachers.

The Clár Comhlachta national final followed the regional finals, which this year took place in Kerry, Mayo, Galway and Donegal. Over the course of the national final, the emerging entrepreneurs exhibited at trade stands, displayed their business acumen during the judges’ interview and held their nerve to present their business ideas on stage in front of a public audience.

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Skills for Life: Citi Foundation & JAI Challenging Students to Acquire Entrepreneurial Skills

Photo 4Pictured at the Enterprise in Action launch are 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; Mary Kelleher, Transition Year Head, Loreto College Crumlin

JAI is excited to announce the launch of a new entrepreneurial programme for senior cycle students called Enterprise in Action. Enterprise in Action, sponsored by Citi Foundation, is designed to promote the relevance of entrepreneurial thinking and provides a structured 5-week programme to allow students to practice innovative thinking and challenges them to understand ethical decision-making.

In 2016/17 80 professionals from a range of supporting organisations including Citi are volunteering to work with more than 2,000 15-17 year olds in their own classrooms to complete Enterprise in Action. Over the course of five weeks, Enterprise in Action volunteers will serve to highlight the role of business in Ireland and introduce young people to entrepreneurship in a practical way that equips them with life skills which can be carried into adulthood.

EIACiti volunteers Caitriona Penston, Fran Burke & Edna Lyatuu HoganParticipating students will also have the opportunity to apply to participate in Innovation Camps where students from a range of schools will come together to address a specific challenge over the course of one day. Working in groups students from different schools will combine creative thinking, teamwork and effective communication skills to come up with innovative solutions to a set problem.

Speaking at the launch of the Enterprise in Action programme, Minister Paschal Donohoe, T.D. stated that, “Initiatives such as Enterprise in Action are essential for fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and skills, which will ensure Ireland continues to be one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. Entrepreneurship is a key element in the health and wellbeing of any thriving economy. We must ensure that we support young people to acquire the skills and confidence they need so that face any challenge, and shape their careers in the future world of work. I commend Junior Achievement and Citi for such a wonderful initiative.”

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Junior Achievement Ireland Presents Children’s Budget 2017 to Minister Zappone

D19093 00585th Class Students from St James’ Primary School, Dublin 8 presented their ideas to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs

Junior Achievement Ireland has marked its 20th anniversary celebrations by presenting the ‘Children’s Budget 2017’ to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone TD at Government Buildings.

Thirty six boys and girls aged 9-10, from St James’s Primary School, Basin Lane, Dublin 8 participated in a workshop where they would balance the ‘Children’s Budget’, using skills previously acquired from programmes Junior Achievement volunteers, from a wide range of supporting organisations, teach in their classrooms.

The goal at the end of the workshop was to fairly distribute the €6 billion budget, €1 billion for each department, wisely amongst the six departments; Department of Children, Department of Transport, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, Department of Education and Department of Local Government. 

Student Moira Salang, aged 10 years, worked on the project as the ‘Minister for Children and Youth Affairs’ and explained how her department decided how to allocate the funding.

“We were given €1bn to spend and our Junior Achievement Ireland volunteers helped us understand the different areas in which we could choose to spend our money. We learned about all the different things to do with Children which the Minister has to look after. It was quite hard to decide how to spend the money in the best way. In the end, we chose things that we think would make a big difference and would help kids. One of our best ideas was to have a breakfast club where children can have breakfast in school for free. I hope Minister Zappone likes our ideas and uses one or two in the big budget in October.”

Key recommendations provided by the children in the document to Minister Zappone included:

-          €25m to be spent on promoting a ‘Drive Safely’ Campaign

-          €50m to be spent on an ‘Irish Language Day’ to promote the use of the Irish language nationwide

-          €100m to be spent on Youth Projects, to include after-school homework clubs

-          €125m to be spent on wind turbines

-          €100m to be spent on creating ‘home-like’ nursing homes for the elderly

-          €50m to be spent on mental health projects

-          €200m to be spent on getting one new airline to come to Ireland every year

-          €25m to be spent on experts visiting schools to teach children about anti-bullying campaigns

-          €25m to be spent on sports halls and dance studios to promote community-based social inclusion

-          €25m to be spent on introducing new sports into the national curriculum such as the wide variety in the recent Olympic Games

-          €300m to be spent on new schools, each to have large playgrounds to facilitate children who live in homes with no gardens or areas with no green spaces

-          €25m to be spent on breakfast clubs whereby all children can get a free breakfast at school

-          €450m to be spent on free healthcare for children under 18

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone TD commented: “It is important that we bring a ‘child focus’ to every area of Government policy, including preparations for Budget 2017. These children are our future and it is important that we nurture their young minds and remind them that there is no limit on what they can accomplish or should aspire to. This exercise has clearly utilised well the skills learned within the Junior Achievement programmes and helped the children apply the skills to a real-life scenario. I thank them very much for their bright ideas and out of the box thinking and will certainly be taking their contribution into consideration. I want to congratulate the children, their teachers and Junior Achievement Ireland for this fantastic work.”

Principal of St James’s Primary School, Noreen Flynn, says: “Junior Achievement Ireland is an extremely valuable organisation that introduces students to the wider world by utilising role models from the world of work. The programmes that run in our school every year show the students the vast array of opportunities there are for them to use their talents, imagination and creativity when they grow up. It is wonderful for our pupils to be able to interact with role models from the business world who can inspire them to achieve more in their future lives.”

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