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Ennistymon transition year students, with their teacher, Fiona Mann, being presented with their certificates by Helen Raftery, CEO of Junior Achievement Ireland.

Ennistymon students hone their skills

TRANSITION-Year students from Ennistymon joined more than 200 secondary-school students from Galway, Mayo and Roscommon at GMIT recently to participate in the Future Skills project, supported by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology Access Service.
The group from Ennistymon Vocational School was the only one from Clare to take part in the project this year.
During the project, the students completed workshops with the assistance of business volunteers from companies including Hewlett Packard, Electronic Arts, AVAYA, SAP, Cambus Medical, AIB, Supermac’s and Top Oil. They explored employment opportunities based on their own interests and examined ways to access these opportunities through their education.
Deirdre O’Connor, access officer at GMIT, informed the students of the courses available at GMIT and also advised them of the support that the access office provides for them on the campus.
GMIT’s Future Skills is now in its sixth year and comprises three phases. The project begins with a local business volunteer visiting the students and teaching a six-week programme in their classroom, looking at the link between education and the workplace.
They then visit a company to learn about the various employment opportunities available to them in their local area. Finally, the project culminates with the workshops and tour of GMIT, where they explore the qualifications they need to pursue their preferred career.
“All of the secondary-school students participating in GMIT Future Skills have the potential to go to college. Today in GMIT, they will meet past pupils from their schools, who are now students and staff here in GMIT. This is their first step along a very exciting road and we are all here to help and support them to reach their goal,” said Ms O’Connor.
Pádraig Ó’Céidigh opened the event and a number of other guest speakers from local organisations told the students about their own education and career path, highlighting any ‘bumps on the road’.
“I would strongly advise you to get involved in entrepreneurship. It can be in your community or in a company and you can create the changes there. Test yourself, push yourself and whatever you do in life, do it because of you. I have a deep passion for education and learning and at GMIT Future Skills you should absorb all of the information you get and I’m asking you to give it your best shot, as your education can make a real difference in your life,” Mr Ó Céidigh stated.
Pat Lam, head coach, Connacht Rugby got an enthusiastic reception from the students. He advised the students, “The greatest gift you can give to those around you is to develop yourself. Good times don’t change your character; it’s the tough times that are an opportunity to grow and everyone faces tough times but you must never give up. Things can be difficult at times but if you change the way you think and you are willing to persevere, you can achieve anything you want in life.”

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