Ireland has established a strong international reputation in education. Developing our educational system and ensuring Ireland becomes a knowledge economy is a prerequisite for all in Irish society, especially Irish business.
Business in the Community Ireland through its Schools’ Business Partnership partners schools with business and empowers young. Our vision is to empower young students to take control of their future and to develop an appreciation for education. We aim to positively impact on educational inclusion in Ireland by working with students who are at risk of leaving school early. Students gain insights into the working world and can see first-hand potential career paths that can be open to them through school completion.
Over the past decade, we have developed over 300 partnerships between schools and business, impacting over 24,000 young students in Ireland.
It is a partnership with Government also – the Departments of Education & Skills and Children & Youth Affairs who provide some funding. The lead sponsor is Marks & Spencer Ireland since 2001; other sponsorship partners are Cornmarket and the ESB Generation Fund.
The Student Mentoring Programme strives to encourage students to stay in school, increase their self-esteem and develop an awareness of the workplace over the course of their senior cycle. The final two years of education are extremely important for many students. Our Student Mentoring Programme provides employees with the opportunity to be a positive influence in a young person’s life by mentoring them. Over 1,470 students and 1, 1299 mentors have participated to date.
The Skills @ Work Programme provides students with a unique insight into the world of work. Employees have the opportunity to share their experience of life, study and work with senior cycle students. Over five sessions, students are provided with assistance to learn about the partnering company and its business, to consider career and further study options available to them when they finish school. For employees, this is an opportunity to enhance and develop their presentation and communication skills while adding diversity to the working day.
Management Excellence for Principals (MEP) involves senior business leaders sharing their expertise and experience with educational leaders through a series of workshops over the course of the school year. Workshop topics include: Leadership, Time Management, Performance Management and PR & Marketing. Almost 800 post primary principals have participated to date.
Management Excellence for Teachers (MET) aims to harvest the knowledge, skills and expertise of Ireland’s visionary business leaders by facilitating them in providing professional development to whole school staffs. The programme creates the space for Ireland’s top businesses to share company and staff skills through workshops with a school staff on topics that have been identified by that school staff eg teamwork, communication skills, learning styles, change management & stress management.
STEM ‘Seeing Is Believing’ In 2013, BITCI researched best practice nationally and internationally to develop supports for science teachers and the outcome was the development of Seeing is Believing for science & technology teachers and guidance counsellors. Nine have taken place since 2013 and companies visited include: Intel, Microsoft, Becton Dickinson, AOL, Vistakon, Cook Medical, Analog, Janssen, GE Healthcare, PM Group, Diageo, Siemens Diagnostics, Pramerica, LYIT, LM Ericsson, Symantec, BT and Zurich.
Time to Read (primary schools) is a literacy enhancement initiative. It provides 2nd class children with the opportunity to receive reading support from a business volunteer. The programme aims to increase the enjoyment of, and confidence in, reading whilst encouraging self-discovery for the participating children. Time to Read, Ireland’s first business to education reading initiative, is taking place in 24 primary schools this year.