100 students from five second level schools in Co. Louth completed the ‘My Future-My Business’ programme sponsored by The Louth Leader Partnership. The participating schools were St. Oliver’s Community School, St. Louis Secondary School, St. Mary’s College (Marist), O’ Fiaich College and Ardee Community School.
‘My Future-My Business’ began earlier this term with a local business volunteer working with the students to complete a programme in their classrooms exploring the links between education and their post-school futures. Students then visited a company in Co. Louth to learn about the various employment opportunities available to them in their local area. In-classroom volunteers and workplace visits were made possible because of the support of local partners including Prometric, Horseware and National Pen.
To complete the programme, Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) hosted the students for a career planning day, to explore employment opportunities, based on their own interests, and to examine ways to access these opportunities, through their education and the development of a variety of soft skills. The on-campus workshops, facilitated by volunteers from State Street, fully complement the senior cycle curriculum at their schools. Students were presented with certificates of achievement to recognise their contribution to their own future success in completing the programme.
Jacqui Ward, Education & Youth Officer, Louth Leader Partnership opened the event at DkIT and told the students about her own education and career path, highlighting that there are a variety of different paths to reach our educational goals.During her address to the students, Jacqui said: “Make the most of this opportunity that you have been given here today. Explore all your options, keep an open mind, but most importantly ask questions. I have no doubt that many of you will be inspired by today’s event and have the confidence to continue your educational journey.”
Eileen Lynch, Access Officer at DkIT, warmly welcomed the second level students on behalf of DkIT and outlined the courses available at DkIT and also advised them of the supports that the Access Office makes available to students throughout their third level education. Eileen commented that: “All of the students participating in ‘My Future-My Business’ have the potential to advance to third level. Today in DkIT, they will meet past pupils from their schools who are now students and staff here in DkIT. This is their first step along a very exciting road and we are all here to help and support them to reach their goal. Their future is in their hands.”
On behalf of Junior Achievement Ireland, CEO Helen Raftery said: “We wish to sincerely thank the Louth Leader Partnership for supporting this initiative. From our perspective it’s a wonderful example of public and private sector engagement to enable a unique combination of learning opportunities for students throughout Co. Louth. We know that linking their studies to the ‘real world’ by meeting role models from business and bringing them on the workplace and third level site visits helps to reinforces key messages for students around the value of education and encourages them to follow their dreams and reach their full potential.”