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South East

UNUM celebrate International Women’s Day with Presentation College Carlow

Group 1UNUM Volunteers with students from Presentation College Carlow

In conjunction with International Women’s Day, 38 students from Presentation College Carlow were invited to UNUM to celebrate the achievement of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

The morning began with an introduction to careers in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths with Rowena websiteVolunteer Rowena Minchin with studentsvolunteers from UNUM Technologies Ireland who shared their varied career and educational experiences to date. Following a very insightful discussion, the students were given a guided tour of UNUM where they saw first-hand the work that happens there, enabling them to further develop their understanding of the link between education and the workplace.

Following on from which the students broke into small groups to participate in JA workshops focusing on effective communication and aeronautical engineering which were led by UNUM business volunteers. At the end of a very succesful morning, the students were presented with Certificates of Achievemets in recognition of the energy and enthusiasm they brought to the celebration of International Women's Day 2018.

Gillian O’Connor, HR Administrator at Unum Ireland said “We are delighted to have had the opportunity again to Gillian websiteVolunteer Gillian O’Connor worked with a group of studentspartner with Junior Achievement Ireland and host Presentation College Carlow for such an important event. Today’s "Celebrating Women in STEM” presentation was a great success and a fantastic opportunity for staff to act as role models to a group of young aspiring women. The workshops were very well organised and our volunteers did a superb job of sharing their personal stories about their career growth in STEM sectors. It has been incredibly rewarding to see the students become so engaged in learning about the vast career opportunities in the STEM sector. Overall it has been a fantastic opportunity for Unum Ireland and our staff to give back to the local community.”

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Port of Waterford Promote Success Skills in the Workplace

IMG 6815Students from Abbey Community College with volunteers from Port of Waterford and JAI staff

Port of Waterford recently partnered with JAI to host 28 students from Abbey Community College in a ‘Success Skills for the Workplace’ event.

IMG 6422The 5th year students got the opportunity to take part in three workshops which focused on helping to improve their interpersonal skills through team working activities and role plays with the aim of increasing their chances of success in the workplace. The workshops covered three key areas – Teamwork, Communication & Interview Skills – which were delivered by Port of Waterford volunteers Frank Ronan, Brian Moore and Derek Madigan. The students were all ears as the volunteers shared their own knowledge and experience in these key areas.

There was also a unique opportunity for students to learn about the working environment in Port of Waterford and to go on a guided tour of the port.

Brian Moore, who co-ordinates the JAI programme for Port of Waterford said ‘the Port is delighted to continue it’s IMG 6798relationship with Junior Achievement Ireland and it has been our pleasure to facilitate these workshops with students from the Abbey Community College in Ferrybank. This programme is part of our Corporate and Social Responsibility objectives where we seek to work with and support our local communities including Ferrybank, Belview and the wider estuary’.

This was a great learning experience for the students from Abbey Community College as they gained an insight into the workings of the cargo gateway to Ireland’s South East Region whilst also getting the opportunity to learn more about the importance of interpersonal skills in the workplace.


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Waters Technologies Bring Science to Life in Wexford

WebsiteVolunteers Danielle and Mick with students participating in STEM workshopsIn conjunction with National Science Week 2017, a class of 1st year students from Presentation Secondary School were invited to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at Waters Technologies.

The morning began with an overview of the activities in Waters Technologies followed by three workshops showcasing the application of science in a number of different careers, including sport, aeronautical engineering and forensics.

Website 2Volunteers Jenny and Danielle with students after their Certificate presenationThe fast paced day continued when students were given a guided tour of Waters Technologies where they learned about how the organisation uses science to test the composition of different commodities including food and medication as well as the number of different career options available in a STEM company such as Waters Technologies.

Finally the students were presented with Certificates of Achievement in recognition of the energy and enthusiam that they brought to the workshops.

Tina Martin, HR Manager at Waters Technologies said “We value our partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland and as a scientific company recognise the importance of educating and exposing the next generation of workers to the fantastic opportunities that exist in our organisation and in the science arena in general.”

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LEAP - Celebrating a Public and Private Sector Collaboration

Leap Professional 1Denise Power, JAI; Jacqui Gaule, Waterford LEO; Pat O’Grady, Bluefin Technologies; Lisa McGowan Bluefin Technologies; John Halligan, T.D., Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation; Danielle Kennedy, Lloyds; Gemma Kennedy, Q1 Scientific; Helen Raftery, JAI; Helen Halpin, JAI; Eilis Fox, JAI

We were delighted to have the opportunity to recognise the successful collaboration of Waterford Local Enterprise Office (LEO), local businesses and JAI on the LEAP programme which ran during the 2016/2017 school year and also to launch our 2017/2018 LEAP initiative.

LEAP - standing for Local Enterprise Achievement Programme - aims to encourage early-stage entrepreneurship in primary school students, helping them acquire and practice entrepreneurial skills, including team working, presentation skills, creative thinking and business planning. 200 primary students from eight schools in Waterford participated in LEAP 2017 because of the joint efforts of the team at Waterford LEO and local business people who volunteered to deliver workshops and serve as mentors.

Leap Professional 2John Halligan, T.D., Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation speaking to Gemma Kennedy of Q1 ScientificTo report on the results achieved last year and to launch the 2017/18 initiative, John Halligan, T.D., Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation was welcomed by Richie Power, CEO of Waterford LEO, into their offices. Minister Halligan acknowledged the work done as a result of this public and private sector collaboration and was delighted to present certificates of appreciation to those who facilitated enterprise education workshops in local schools. The 2017 in-school volunteers were: Peter Grogan, Emagine; Padraig O’Scanaill, Fundrecs; Gemma Kennedy, Q1 Scientific; Danielle Kennedy, Lloyds; Mary O’Brien, Bausch & Lomb and Elaine Fennelly, Lisa McGowan & Pat O’Grady, Bluefin Technologies.

Each volunteer helped the students to complete ‘My First Business’ over a series of visits to the participating schools: Portlaw N.S., Killea B.N.S., Fenor N.S., Dunhill N.S., Scoil Lorcain B.N.S., St. Ursula’s Primary School, St. John of God N.S. and St. Declan’s B.N.S. To showcase all of their hard work, JAI staged a LEAP event in conjunction with the School of Business in Waterford Institute of Technology. Over the course of the 7th and 8th June all of the young business people enjoyed the chance to present their ideas to panels of additional local business people entitled FROGS (For Recognition of Greatness in Students).

Minister John Halligan T.D. said: “I am happy to acknowledge the wonderful work done by Junior Achievement Ireland and Waterford Local Enterprise Office through the LEAP initiative. It is important that we excite young people as to the value of gaining entrepreneurial skills, like team working. I’m also delighted to express my appreciation to the local business people in taking the time to serve as role models for these students and hopefully in complementing the work of our teachers, helping the next generation to sow the seeds of their future success. Congratulations to all involved.”

LEAP 1Students, teachers and mentors celebrate after the LEAP event in WITRichie Walsh, CEO of Waterford Leo, said that “small businesses are the backbone of the economy and developing entrepreneurship skills, which are also good life skills, at this early age enables us to nurture the next generation of doers and innovators. The participants learn how to be self-motivated, work in teams and be responsible for their own decisions. These are all skills that they will need later in life.”

Helen Raftery, CEO, JAI, concluded by saying: “We are delighted to partner with Waterford LEO on the LEAP Project and the results we have shared today highlight its positive impact on local students. For these students to have the opportunity to work with local business people to generate their own ideas and to get to present those ideas in a third level setting is a fabulous learning experience, which is highly valued by all of the teachers involved too. Thank you to Waterford LEO, our local business volunteers and WIT for inspiring and motivating local students.”

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Waterford Local Enterprise Office LEAP into Action in Local Schools


200 primary students from eight schools across Waterford city and county have taken part in the Local Enterprise Achievement Programme (LEAP), sponsored by Waterford Local Enterprise Office.

At the start of the programme each class was visited by a local business person who delivered the Junior Achievement 'Our First Business' programme, empowering students to come up with their very first business idea. All the students' hard work and preparation came to fruition at the LEAP Event which was held in Waterford Institute of Technology on 7th and 8th June.

LEAP 2Minister John Halligan TD visiting students at their stand to hear their business ideasMinister John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, who opened the LEAP Event on the 8th of June said: “Initiatives such as the LEAP Project are essential for fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and skills in the Waterford area, which will help to ensure Ireland continues to be one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. We must support young people to acquire the skills and confidence they need so that they can face any challenge and shape their careers in the future world of work. I commend Junior Achievement and Waterford Local Enterprise Office for such a wonderful initiative.

Each day four local schools showcased their business ideas and presented them to local business people known as FROGS (For Recognition of Greatness in Students) who questioned the students on their ideas leap 3In the middle of the action are John Halligan, Minister of State for Training and Skills; Helen Raftery, CEO, JAI; Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise, Waterford LEO; Tom O’ Toole, Head of the School of Business, WITand offered each group a fictional investment in recognition of the potential of their business idea.

Speaking at the event Jacqui Gaule from Waterford LEO said: “One of our core values at Waterford LEO is to encourage the spirit of enterprise in our local community. The creativity and innovation showed by the students was inspiring.  To reach primary school students and sow the seed of self-employment at this young age offers us the opportunity of a bright future for entrepreneurship in Waterford. We are delighted that Junior Achievement is our partner for this project.

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