Barclays Ensure Students are Work Ready

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Students in O’Connell’s CBS during a Be Work Ready workshop with Barclays volunteers

In a year where employability skills are more important than ever, Barclays volunteers stepped up to the plate to ensure that students in O’Connell’s CBS in Dublin 1 still received their guidance and support through the Barclays Be Work Ready programme, albeit, in a different format this year.

Shauna Collins and Padraic Gallagher ran two virtual workshops with 5th year students in which students discussed their skills, interests, and were prepared to partake in the virtual interviews which were hosted by 9 other Barclay’s volunteers.

Barclays have been running the Be Work Ready employability programme with JA schools for eight years, and working with the students in O’Connell’s C.B.S. for three years. After the programme finished prematurely in March, Barclays wanted to ensure that they could continue to help the students prepare for world of work. JA subsequently adapted the programme to the virtual world ensuring the students benefited from working with role models from the working world.

Volunteers Shauna Collins and Padraic Gallagher during their workshop

Thank you to Amy Lawlor, business teacher in O’Connell’s CBS, for being open to the virtual version of the programme, organising all the technology needed, and providing support to the students and volunteers.

Amy commented on the experience: “The experience was very good, at first I was apprehensive due to it taking place online but I think it went very well. The programme and interviews were a huge benefit to all students, regardless of ability. Thank you JA & Barclays.”

The programme would not have run without the exceptional Barclays volunteers who step out of their comfort zone each year to help students reach their full potential. Thank you Shauna Collins, Padraic Gallagher, Ger Guest, Brian McKenzie, Darragh Lalor, Deirdre Thomas, Anuja Deshmukh, Steen Larson, Peter Ferris, Sarah Lee, and Roisin Kane.

JA are delighted that feedback from the volunteers continues to be extremely positive with volunteer Padraic Gallagher advising colleagues to participate in the programme: “Be Work Ready is the best run citizenship programme I’ve been involved in. It requires some preparation and I invariably feel nervous before presenting but it’s an extremely rewarding experience. In my experience the more engaged the volunteer is, the more engaged the students will be and that makes for the most productive sessions.”

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