"To inspire and motivate young people to realise their potential by valuing education and understanding how to succeed in the world of work"
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Mid West

The future looks bright for local students in the Mid West

Zimmer Presentation PicZimmer Biomet staff being presented with Certificates of Achievement at the annual JAI Zimmer Biomet recognition event – pictured are Erma Kiely; Zimmer Biomet; Rob Geary, Zimmer Biomet; Teresa Leahy, Junior Achievement and Dermot Kelly, Zimmer Biomet

72 volunteers have reached over 2,000 students through JA programmes in schools in Clare, Limerick, Tipperary and Galway thanks to the support of Zimmer Biomet.  The programmes are designed to encourage young people to remain in education and help them to develop the skills they need to succeed in a changing world.

Zimmer 3 studentsZimmer Biomet volunteers in Shannon and Galway have delivered JA programmes in schools over the last number of years with many of the class groups also benefitting from an on-site visit to learn more about STEM careers and the fantastic work being done by Zimmer Biomet in Ireland.  Rob Geary, a Zimmer Biomet volunteer commented: "It is a pleasure to take part in this programme, it gives a great sense of giving back and enabling children to understand the importance of education. There is immense engagement throughout from the children and teachers alike.”

Volunteer Dermot Stanley took the time to return to his alma mater Thomond Community College to deliver the ‘Smart Futures Workshop’ which focused on STEM industries and the variety of roles within them. Mary O’Sullivan, Guidance Counsellor, Thomond Community College remarked on Dermot's visit: “This workshop proved to be an invaluable experience for our students as it enabled them to benefit from the knowledge, skills and expertise of Dermot.  It is particularly valuable for the students to hear how someone who was in their exact position a number of years ago has progressed through his education and career.  It was of great benefit to have a role model from a local STEM company such as Zimmer Biomet.”

We very much look forward to continuing our partnership with Zimmer Biomet to bring role models from industry into local classrooms.

Zimmer Pic 1Students from 2nd class St. Tola’s N.S. during their visit to Zimmer Biomet

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Regeneron help Tipperary students see Smart Futures

The future is looking bright for 2nd year students from Our Lady’s Secondary School in Templemore thanks to Catherine Larkin from Regeneron who delivered the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) supported Smart Futures workshop.

Smart Futures is a collaborative industry-education programme that provides second-level school students in Ireland with information about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

As a student, deciding what to study when leaving school can be a difficult decision. There are lots of factors to take into account: What do they enjoy studying? What are their interests outside of school? What career will best suit them? Smart Futures will help students to explore potential careers in STEM.

During her interactive workshop Catherine inspired students by sharing her own career journey from school to her position in Regeneron and provided an in-depth overview on Regeneron in Limerick and their business operations.

Catherine outlined a detailed analysis of future career possibilities in  STEM which empowered students to consider Science subjects for their senior cycle and consider STEM when choosing courses in third level.

Almost five million more people with specialist digital skills are needed globally by 2023 while a recent study estimated that the average Irish worker faced a 46% probability of having their role automated by the 2030s. It is vitally important we prepare our young people to achieve success in the workplace of the future and identify where there is demand.

Regeneron in Limerick works closely with JAI in the Midwest to inspire and motivate both primary and second level students.  In 2018/19 Regeneron volunteers reached over 800 students in Limerick, Clare, Tipperary and Offaly.

“As a past pupil of Our Lady’s it was great to get the opportunity to ‘give back’ to the school that nurtured my love of science many years ago,” Catherine said as she commented on her experience. "I was delighted with the level of interaction from the students on the day – for such a young audience, they asked some really great questions. They were genuinely interested in the how their day to day activities link to “STEM” and the career options available to them in this exciting field.  It was also great to talk about Regeneron, who we are and what we do and how the science that these students are learning can be applied within the Biopharmaceutical industry. The laboratory facilities and scientific teaching support within Our Lady’s are second to none and I look forward to returning in the future to help spread the STEM message!”

Mairead Larkin, teacher in Our Lady’s Secondary School, said:  “It was an excellent workshop and Catherine provided the students with lots of examples to that all-important question often asked in Maths ‘when will we use this in real life?’ The students got to see how Maths is so important in many careers including the work carried out in Regeneron.”

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3 Year Bridge to Employment for Limerick Students

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Michael Sheahan, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick; Ian Walker, J&J Senior Director Global Community Impact and John Lynch, Plant Manager, Johnson & Johnson Vision with students from Ardscoil Mhuire and Thomond Community College 

Johnson & Johnson Vision and JAI, in collaboration with Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally and Thomond Community College, Moylish Park, recently launched a Bridge to Employment (BTE) programme at the Limerick Strand Hotel. The programme will serve 50 transition year students through to the completion of their Leaving Certificate.

24 09 19 9837The initiative, funded by Johnson & Johnson, is part of the company’s global BTE initiative which aims to encourage young people to pursue higher education and challenging careers in the healthcare industry. A collaborative effort between schools, employers, parents and community groups helps to provide students with the confidence needed to realise their aspirations. The programme aims to engage students in their last three years of secondary school who demonstrate academic potential, but may face barriers to career progression.

Over the three years of this project, students will be given the opportunity to participate in a range of activities such as work experience placements at Johnson & Johnson Vision, visiting third level campuses, attending workshops, receiving valuable career advice from J&J mentors and also participating in JAI’s ‘Career Success’ programme. This unique opportunity will provide the selected students with a comprehensive level of support and guidance as they progress through senior cycle.   

24 09 19 9792Brid Herbert, Principal, Ardscoil Mhuire said that her school was delighted to be selected to be involved in the BTE project: "This three year mentoring programme will support our students in achieving academic success and in their preparation for higher education, training, and employment. BTE will present 25 of our students with unique and invaluable real world experiences, allow them to explore potential careers, prepare for college/work and discover how learning is relevant to their future. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Johnson & Johnson Vision and Junior Achievement Ireland for collaborating on this programme."

24 09 19 9670John Lynch, Plant Manager, Johnson & Johnson Vision, said: "Bridge to Employment is a global Johnson & Johnson programme which has been running successfully for more than 20 years. Given our commitment to supporting our local community here in Limerick, I'm delighted that we are working with Junior Achievement Ireland in supporting senior cycle students from Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally and Thomond Community College, Moylish Park to pursue challenging science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related careers.

On behalf of JAI Mid-West Area Manager Teresa Leahy underlined the impact the programme will have on participating students: “Research shows that working with ‘real-world’ volunteers helps young people to see the relevance of their academic studies to their everyday lives, which is a vital factor in persuading them to stay in school, take full advantage of their education and maximise their potential. The Bridge to Employment programme will help students develop over the three years into enterprising individuals who have the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to achieve the goals they set for themselves. Thank you to Johnson & Johnson Vision for supporting this impactful initiative.”

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Regeneron Volunteers Go Back to School in Limerick

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After 23 years working with schools and business partners throughout Ireland more and more JAI volunteers are getting the opportunity to return to their old schools to deliver programmes. Many are putting the skills they learned in the workforce into practice to motivate young people to progress in the world of work.

Volunteer Eamonn Gleeson was delighted to visit his old primary school St. Joseph’s National School in Cloughjordan to deliver Our City to 2nd and 3rd class students.

Limerick Educate Together School in North Circular road participated in the Project Management Skills for Life programme with Aiveen Campbell, who attended the school when it was known as Salesians Secondary Fernbank. Liz Shinners, a teacher in Limerick Educate Together School , commented: “We really enjoyed the workshop and learned so much about Project Management, the students are looking forward to using their new skills in future projects in our school.”

1st year students from Colaiste Mhichil, CBS Sexton Street were interested to hear from past pupil, David Page. David delivered the Futurewize programme to a 1st year group.  David has a specific interest in science and STEM programmes which help students to learn the importance of STEM subjects and the options for working in STEM industries after school.

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Zimmer Biomet bringing Science to Life

Zimmer St Pats STWWe were delighted to continue our very successful partnership with Zimmer Biomet in the 2018/2019 school year.  So far in this school year, there have been 9 programme volunteers from Zimmer Biomet in Shannon who have taught students in Limerick and Clare. These volunteers reached 263 students in six local primary schools and 2 second level schools.

Zimmer Biomet recently also hosted a visit by two first year science classes from St. Patrick’s Comprehensive, Shannon.  The Futurewize programme sponsored by SFI was a huge success with all of the students.  The volunteers on the day were only too happy to share their experiences of working in a STEM Pharmaceutical Company.

Cormac Mc Mahon, from Zimmer Biomet said: “We are very pleased to partner with Junior Achievement Ireland to deliver this worthwhile programme. We have been involved since 2016 and our staff get a lot from it. As a long established manufacturing facility in Shannon, and recently opened manufacturing facility in Oranmore in Galway, we are very keen to create strong links with our local community through the schools here in Clare, Limerick and Galway.”

Commenting on her experience, Ms Sabrina Curran, a teacher from the St. Patrick’s Comprehensive said: “I found this Junior Achievement programme fantastic, all of the presentations on the day were absolutely great, the students loved learning about science and finding out all about the replacement knees produced here on site.  The tour and the career talks on the day were invaluable. I am really looking forward to having Junior Achievement in my class again in the future.”

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