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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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Energize Brings Science to Life with Gas Networks Ireland

EnergizeScience communicator Jonathan McCrea with Helen Raftery, CEO JAI, Ian O'Flynn, Head of Commercial, Gas Networks Ireland and students from Mother of Divine Grace PS at the launch of Energize

Gas Networks Ireland in partnership with JAI is delighted to launch a science education programme, Energize, to over 5,000 primary school students around Ireland. The programme will introduce science to primary school students through practical and engaging classroom-based lessons and was officially launched by science communicator Jonathan McCrea.

Energize 2Gas Networks Ireland volunteer Niamh Conroy facilitates a module during the Energize launchThe programme is designed to cultivate an interest in science so that students continue with the subject to second level education. Labour market data shows that Ireland continues to experience a skills shortage in the STEM sector despite major growth and employment opportunities. Each year, 200 volunteers from businesses around the country will be recruited, trained and supported by JAI to facilitate the roll-out of the in-classroom programme - which is an integral part of Gas Networks Ireland’s commitment to fostering students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Commenting at the launch of Energize at Mother of Divine Grace Primary School in Finglas, Jonathan McCrea, Science Communicator and presenter on Newstalk and RTÉ, said: “It is absolutely vital that we have adequate numbers of qualified science graduates if we are to continue to grow the STEM sector in Ireland. These are the graduates of 2025 and the Ireland of 2025 and beyond will increasingly depend on scientists, engineers and innovators. With the help of programmes like Energize we will ensure a sustainable supply of qualified personnel in the STEM sector supporting Ireland’s economic growth and development. We will also give these students the widest possible range of options for their futures. Complementing the primary school science curriculum, programmes like Energize will enable our young people to explore STEM and encourage them to choose science subjects for the Leaving Cert and beyond.”

Energize 3Science communicator Jonathan McCrea spoke to students about the fun and practical side of scienceIan O’Flynn, Head of Commercial, Gas Networks Ireland, said: “Gas Networks Ireland is proud to support the Energize Science education programme which we see as a vital investment in all of our futures. Energize will introduce students to energy, physics, chemistry and biology in an unexpected, informative and enjoyable way and will promote energy awareness and demonstrate how forensic science can help solve crime. The programme is designed to nurture a positive attitude towards science and in the longer term we want to cultivate a greater number of science graduates and STEM skilled professionals. Encouraging, educating and supporting children as they move forward in their lives is central to this programme and we are delighted to play a part in helping them reach their full potential.”

It is critical that industry and education come together to excite young people about studying science and the skills required for success,” said Helen Raftery, CEO JAI. She continued “It is through the support of partners like Gas Networks Ireland that we are able to connect our students with business volunteers who in turn share their insights and expertise, linking the classroom and the ‘real-world’ to enhance their learning experience. We look forward to continuing in partnership with Gas Networks Ireland to ensure primary students enjoy the opportunity to learn about STEM in the coming years.”

Energize will be delivered to 6th class primary school students across the country and volunteers from member organisations will begin facilitating the programme in the coming weeks. Energize comprises five modules spanning the fundamentals of science while highlighting its value to young people in their everyday lives. Promoting STEM to primary school students in a fun and interactive way is crucial in promoting a positive attitude to science. If you would like to register your interest in having Energize delivered in your school, please contact JAI at info@jai.ie.

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Business is Core to ‘Our City’

Entrepreneur Rozanna Purcell with students from St. Audoens National SchoolEntrepreneur Rozanna Purcell spoke to students from St. Audoens National School about starting her own business

Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company, have extended its partnership with JAI and launched the revamped ‘Our City’ programme.

This community and enterprise-focused initiative is set to reach up to 15,000 students nationwide on completion of the next three-year phase. To celebrate, 25 local primary school students from St. Audoen's National School, Cook Street, Dublin 8 were invited to Core’s city centre office to complete their Our City workshops, in which they practised setting up a business and marketing their products in their city.  To assist the students entrepreneur Rozanna Purcell spoke to students about starting her own business.

Students from St. Audoens National School working on their Business IdeasStudents working on their Business Ideas'Our City' introduces 3rd class students (8-9 years old) to the many elements that comprise the development of an urban area. Students are introduced to their city or town as a place where people work, live, play, go to school. As citizens of 'Our City', the young students also get the chance to build their own city, and in so doing, get to debate the best way to plan and provide for the needs of everyone who lives in the city. Over the course of their five-module programme, students enjoy starting their own business, developing their own advertising campaigns and practising being successful entrepreneurs. More than 14,000 students in 571 schools nationwide have enjoyed the programme in the first three years, which involved working with more than 420 trained business volunteers from JAI-supporting organisations.

Aidan Greene, Deputy CEO of Core said, “Core is delighted to recommit to the ‘Our City’ programme. We are dedicated to supporting youth and education initiatives around the country and our partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland allows us to maximise the impact we can make in communities, while inspiring the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs.”

Helen Raftery, CEO Junior Achievement Ireland, commented, “Thanks to the support of Core we are able to bring the real world into classrooms through the experience and insights of trained business volunteers. Helping students to connect what they do in school with the world around them to ensure they see the relevance of their studies in their everyday lives is a very important aspect of their development and one in which we are delighted that Core has invested its resources and expertise.”    

Commenting on the programme, Adrian Harkin, Acting Principal of St. Audoen's National School said, “The ‘Our City’ programme is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about the city around them and the opportunities that lie within. Not only does it bring business into the classroom, it also allows our students to get a feel for a real working environment and aspire to a variety of roles within their city.”

Students from St. Audoens Celebrate the launch of Our City with Core volunteersStudents from St. Audoens Celebrate the launch of Our City with Core volunteers

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