GMIT and Business in the Community Ireland launch initiative to help tackle educational disadvantage and create pathways to college for all

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 Press Office
Press Release
[Photo by Michael Donnelly. No repro fee.] L to R: Fania Ellison, Mayo/Sligo Regional Co-ordinator, Business in the Community Ireland; Mary Carolan, Business teacher, Colaiste Pobail Acla; Justin Kerr, VP for the GMIT Mayo Campus and Head of School of Health Science, Wellbeing & Society; and Dr Deirdre Garvey, Head of Department Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences, GMIT.

GMIT commences delivery of World of Work Programme to DEIS schools in the west

An initiative aimed at introducing pupils to the world of work, college opportunities and supports, has been launched by GMIT and Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI). BITCI’s purpose is to inspire and enable businesses to bring about a sustainable, low carbon economy and a more inclusive society where everyone thrives. Its Patron is President Michael D Higgins.

The initiative supports students attending targeted schools supported by the School Completion Programme most of whom are DEIS schools. DEIS, meaning” Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools”, is an acronym stemming from an action plan launched in 2005 by the Dept of Education and Skills aimed at providing extra resources to schools in socio-economically disadvantaged populations.

Supported by BITCI, GMIT will commence delivery of the initiative called “World at Work Programme” to second year pupils in Colaiste Pobail Acla. GMIT Mayo Campus have had a link with the organisation since 2014 and previously provided the Skills at Work Programme with Scoil Mhuire agus Padraig, Swinford. The outcome was very positive for both the young students and academic staff who worked on this together. Many students described how the programme created an awareness of the opportunities available and developed their confidence and motivation.

Dr Deirdre Garvey, Head of Department of Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences, in the School of Health Science, Wellbeing & Society, says “Our role in higher education is to contribute to the social, economic and environmental development of the region. Our engagement with BITCI and the programme with Colaiste Pobail Acla is be a key enabler in doing this. This collaboration is strongly aligned to our community engagement pillar and our Campus Sustainability Charter. We are looking forward to working together and are particularly delighted Pobail Acla is the first “island” school we are collaborating with.”

Fania Ellison, Mayo/Sligo Regional Coordinator, BITCI says: “As all the evidence shows that early intervention introducing students to the world of work is essential, we have moved away from working with senior cycle students and this programme is now for second years. We rolled the programme out nationally in 2020. We are delighted to see GMIT deliver the programme.”

The second-year pupils taking part in the World of Work Programme initiative will take part in visits to the GMIT Mayo campus, meet students and staff, attend workshops and seminars on soft skills, and be introduced to a workplace where employees will showcase what they do. It will help students understand more about the world of work – job roles, skills, and how employees succeed in the workplace.

GMIT’s strategic partnership with BITCI was first established in 2014 through Dr Deirdre Garvey and supported by GMIT Student Services through the then Skills at Work Programme. “This was a very positive engagement, with real impact, and developed our link with a DEIS secondary school in the region at the time. We are also working with BITCI on the development of a Sustainability Leadership programme,” adds Dr Garvey, “We look forward to continuing to work together”.

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Issued by Regina Daly, GMIT Communications & Press Officer, GMIT, Dublin Road, Galway.
0879618355 (m)

Galway-Mayo IT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT working together to become a TU for the West and North-West of Ireland