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.
The 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.
Brid 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.”
John 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.”