"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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JAI moves to the PorterShed Entrepreneurial Hub

JAI Sitting

 Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) has become the 20th organisation to locate an office in the PorterShed in Galway. Coincidentally, we are also celebrating our 20th anniversary this year, having first worked with Irish students in 1996.

 In the West of Ireland, we enjoy support from AIB, Baxter, Bank of Ireland, Boston Scientific, Cambus Medical, Environmental Protection Agency, Ervia, Fidelity Investments, Health and Safety Authority, KBC Bank, Oracle, Top Oil, Údarás na Gaeltactha, Zimmer and Penn Engineering. However, with the popularity of the programmes and increasing programme requests from schools in the west, we are currently seeking new companies, to meet this demand.

"It's great to have JAI as one of the latest organisations hosted in the PorterShed, as it builds yet more bridges between parts of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the West, allowing JAI to connect with all of the PorterShed companies and also corporates in the area who attend our many hosted events, " said Dr John Breslin, Director of TechInnovate at NUI Galway and Board Member of the Galway City Innovation District / PorterShed. "It also provides the opportunity for school goers to see where their entrepreneurial or innovative tendencies may take them as startup founders or innovators within larger companies."

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Delivering the Business of Innovation to the Classroom!

crop 3 CIMG9914Students from Presentation Secondary School, Athenry enjoying a visit to Cambus Medical

In 2015/16 school year,  12 Cambus Medical volunteers worked with over 130 students in Galway schools and helped them to gain science, enterprise and life skills, by bringing innovative and interactive learning opportunities into local schools, through its partnership with JAI. Cambus Medical volunteers taught programmes in schools in Spiddal, Furbo and Barna and by doing so, helped to show students the the link between education and the workplace.

Cambus Medical  also hosted  a ‘school to work day’ for students from Presentation Secondary School, Athenry, where a  Transition Year class came  in to their plant in Spiddal and received  a presentation on the processes that take place there and the opportunities available, followed by a tour of the facility.John Farragher giving tour

 The ‘school to work days’ have been a great success, as the students get to see the various roles that people carry out on site. Their imaginations are stimulated and they can see first-hand the opportunities available to them, if they stay on in school and complete their education. For some of them, maybe they will pursue a career in science or engineering and others may not, but what better way to find out than meeting employees carrying out these roles in Cambus Medical, at a time when they are about to decide what they would like to do in the future.

Jason Cotter of  Presentation Secondary School, Athenry  said, “The class had great day at Cambus Medical and were introduced to all areas of the business which allowed them to gain a great insight into how a business functions. I believe it is hugely beneficial for students to engage in field trips as part of their business education, so that they can relate the business theory we are teaching them in the classroom, to the practice which they observe on business trips, like today at Cambus Medical!”  

According to John Farragher of Cambus Medical, “Cambus Medical is this year celebrating 10 years serving the Medical technology sector and we have been partnering with Junior achievement Ireland for much of this time. Considering the shear pace of innovation in science and technology over the past 10 years, we are delighted our vounteers are continuing to work with local schools encouraging students to continue their path through Higher education and making them aware of the many exciting career opportunities that are available to them if they continue to invest in continung their education”.


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Údarás na Gaeltachta Inspires a New Generation of Entrepreneurs

Udaras LaunchHelen Raftery, CEO of JAI; Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs; Amy Ní Fhlatharta and Eoin Ó Murchú, students at Coláiste Cholmcille and Stiofán Ó Cualáin, Údarás na Gaeltachta

500 Transition Year students from Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry Mayo, Meath & Waterford will participate in the Údarás na Gaeltachta – Clár na gComhlachtaí this year.

Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs launched the 2016/17 programme in Coláiste Cholmcille, Indreabhán and students from the school were on hand to display some of the innovative ideas that they have for their fledgling businesses!

Clár na gComhlachtaíis is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with 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. The programme provides numerous opportunities for the development and reinforcement of important academic and leadership skills.

Local business volunteers, each of whom is recruited, trained and supported by JAI, 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.

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.

Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs commented: “I’d like to congratulate Údarás na Gaeltachta and Junior Achievement Ireland for their collaboration on Clár na gComhlachtaí and I wish the students all the best in this very worthwhile initiative. Businesses are at the heart of the economy in this country and this programme is a wonderful opportunity to instill entrepreneurship in young people.”

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DeCare Dental Delivering Smiles for Students!

Noeleen Lowry with students re Sugars Noeleen Lowry of DeCare Dental examines sugars levels in foods with students from Ballindine N.S.

DeCare Dental, a specialist dental insurance and oral health company based in Claremorris, has partnered with Junior Achievement Ireland since 2014 and already nearly 40 employees have delivered enterprise and science programmes to more than 600 local students in Claremorris, Co. Mayo.

During the 2015/16 school year, local students from Ballindine N.S., Gaelscoil Uileog De Burca and Convent of Mercy availed of the opportunity to be involved in Junior Achievement programmes with DeCare Dental volunteers. The programmes delivered by the volunteers ranged from the ‘Ourselves’ programme for senior infants who enjoyed developing an understanding of helping, working, earning and saving, through to senior primary level students gaining valuable entrepreneurial and STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, Maths) skills in the ‘Our World’ and ‘Our Universe’ programmes.

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E.P.A. Enlightening Local Mayo Students

6th Class Ballyvary Students with EPA Vols Michelle McKim JOhn Gibbonos Robert Wilkes and Brid FarragherStudents from Ballyvary N.S. with volunteers Michelle McKim, John Gibbons, Robert Wilkes & Brid Farragher

Junior Achievement Ireland were delighted to partner with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the first time in 2015/2016 school year. Within weeks of initiating our partnership eight volunteers from EPA Castlebar delivered Junior Achievement programmes in primary and secondary schools in Co. Mayo. The local students - who got the chance to be involved in Junior Achievement programmes because of the EPA volunteers - ranged from senior infants enjoying the "Ourselves" programme to Transition Year who enjoyed the “Metlife Finance your future” programme.

In addition to teaching a programme, four of the volunteers invited their classes to visit the EPA Regional Inspectorate in Castlebar to see first-hand the work that happens there and further develop their understanding of the correlation between education and the work place.

Over 100 students from Ballyvary N.S., St. Patrick’s N.S., Castlebar and Scoil Phadraig N.S. Westport witnessed science and engineering coming to life by means of a Hovercraft, a Drone, Laboratory tests and River micro fauna displays. This was a fantastic end to the contribution of all eight volunteers involved, and a fantastic (and fun) learning opportunity for the students who attended. 

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