Members of the business community and leaders in education in the Mid-West joined Minister Jan O’Sullivan on Friday 6th November at Dell’s Limerick Campus to consider the future of the world of work and to discuss how industry and education combine to inspire young people in the region to maximise their potential.
This unique opportunity was hosted by Dell for Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI), which is the largest non-profit organisation in the region, recruiting, training and supporting volunteers from business to facilitate programmes covering themes like employability, financial literacy, the value of studying STEM subjects and entrepreneurship skills for local students.
As part of the event, student entrepreneurs from Desmond College Limerick, who represented Ireland with distinction over the summer at the JA Europe Company of the Year Final, were presented with a memento of their achievement for their school.
In summarising her remarks today Minister for Education and Skills,
Jan O’Sullivan T.D said:
“I want to acknowledge the work of Dell in contributing to the wider community – not just in the education sector as we are focusing on here today, but in a range of other initiatives such as supporting the Arts and raising funds for charity.
I would like to take this opportunity to commend Dave & all his colleagues for their commitment and innovation in contributing to our community.
Equally, I am delighted to show my support for the work of Junior Achievement Ireland. The reputation it has among school leaders and other stakeholders has been built over 20 years and continues to go from strength to strength.
I believe training volunteers from local businesses to work with students in classrooms is a great way to help the students make a connection between what they are doing in school and the variety of options open to them.
I would encourage every suitable organisation to get involved if they can – investing in young people is always worthwhile and with Junior Achievement the volunteers themselves learn as much from the programme as the students!”
Fiona McCarthy, HR Executive Director, Dell EMEA said:
“We’re delighted to host this morning’s event at our campus here in Limerick.
Dell have enjoyed a long relationship with Junior Achievement Ireland in Limerick as well as in Dublin and Cork where our other campuses are located.
From a Dell perspective, each year in Limerick we put 50-60 team members on the JA teaching roster – we cover primary and secondary schools and most will spend a class a week for 5 or 6 weeks delivering the set programmes.
We have also worked with Junior Achievement on the Company Programme, with Dell supplying mentors and bringing in school groups for the ‘Future Skills’ Project.
There’s also a STEM skills project that some of our regular programme volunteers have participated on. Junior Achievement is an excellent partner.
We look forward to continuing to work together and would have no hesitation in urging you and your company to get involved with the organisation.”
Industry expert, Peter Cosgrove, director and Chairman of JAI and a partner in CPL, one of Ireland’s largest recruitment firms, spoke at the event, sharing his research on the future of the world of work. He said:
“Technology is influencing how organisations are planning and developing. Employers must offer flexible work and an open, collaborative, free-flowing work environment.
Similarly, the education system is challenged to continue to encourage creativity and enable young people to develop skills in analysing and synthesising significant amounts of data so that they can enjoy a rewarding career in the workplace of the future.
The emergence of the portfolio career is also a factor – where people are now looking to work for companies whose mission and values set are aligned with their own passions and talents.
Employers now have to accommodate expectations around their corporate citizenship such as their willingness to offer volunteering opportunities in order to engage the employees they need.”