|By Business Wire||
|May 22, 2014 05:12 PM EDT||
Children and Youth Affairs Minister Charles Flanagan recently presented completion certificates to 208 students and mentors in the Business in the Community Ireland’s (BITCI) mentoring programme and commended them for helping to improve school completion rates for secondary-level students throughout Ireland, especially SCP (School Completion Programme) schools.
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Charles Flanagan T.D. (left) and John Everett, senior programmer, Pramerica (right) join BITCI participant Gillian Marley as she accepts her completion certificate.(Photo: Business Wire)
“We congratulate the students and mentors for the considerable results they have achieved,” said Flanagan. “The success of this programme proves the value of innovative collaboration by businesses, government and non-profit organizations in support of positive outcomes for our young people. I believe programmes such as these play a pivotal role in young people’s personal and social development, increasing their life skills and employability.”
Employees from top Irish companies, including Pramerica Systems Ireland, a software and contact centre subsidiary of U.S.-based Prudential Financial, Inc.* located in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, have been volunteering as mentors with BITCI’s Schools’ Business Partnership Mentoring Programme since it was launched in October 2012. The mentors serve as positive role models who help boost students’ self-esteem and encourage them to stay in school. In addition, they give the students a more positive view of the workplace and the opportunities it offers.
“The Mentoring Programme has a proven high success rate at encouraging school completion,” said Germaine Noonan, Programme Manager, Schools Business Partnership, BITCI, noting that participant schools, are reporting a significant improvement in students’ self-confidence and their attitudes towards completing the Leaving Certificate examinations.. “Very few of these students have stopped attending school, which is very encouraging because these are generally schools that have a high dropout rate,” said Noonan.
According to My World survey, 2013,** the national survey of youth mental health in Ireland, the single biggest positive influence on teenagers’ development is access to one good adult role model. The report also pointed out that for the majority of Irish students, the period between Junior and Leaving Certificate is a time when students make decisions and choices that pave their future career paths, including whether they progress to higher education or whether directly enter the workforce. It added that many young people are facing challenging circumstances that make these decisions especially difficult.
The programme matches employee mentors with students in their local communities during the students’ final two years of education. The pair meet at least once a month at the employee’s workplace and they also spend time together at a number of outings throughout the year to create a bond outside of the business or academic arena that can be maintained beyond school completion. Since the program was launched, more than 1,000 mentoring pairs have participated in the programme.
Ellen Dorian, currently a student at Mulroy College, Co. Donegal, said, “I had a great mentor who helped me look at every option so I could make an informed decision about what I want to do in the future. “Thanks to her support, I now believe in my ability to be successful in the future.”
Michelle McLaughlin, a recruitment specialist at Pramerica said, “It’s gratifying to see these young people begin to believe in themselves. And I have also benefited from the programme – it has helped me strengthen my communication, interpersonal, team-building and leadership skills.”
In addition to Pramerica, other businesses that participate in the programme include KPMG, Diageo, Allianz Worldwide Care, Kraft, Limerick Institute of Technology, Investec, Irish Life, Communicorp and Horseracing Ireland.
Business in the Community Ireland, founded in 2000, is a unique movement of companies committed to corporate responsibility activities. Our purpose is to inspire, challenge and support business by continually improving its positive impact on society in the community, environment, marketplace and workplace.
Pramerica Systems Ireland provides essential computer-technology and client-contact services to PFI businesses around the world. Its Information Technology Group develops software and other systems solutions for PFI business groups and its Operations Group functions as a back-office contact centre for PFI business group. The Great Place to Work Institute Ireland has named Pramerica one of the best companies to work for in Ireland. For more information, visit www.pramerica.ie.
*Prudential Financial, Inc. of the United States is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential plc, a company incorporated in the United Kingdom.
** My World Survey 2013 - A national study of youth mental health in Ireland by Dr Barbara Dooley & Dr Amanda Fitzgerald, UCD School of Psychology in conjunction with Headstrong – the National Centre for Youth Mental Health.
- Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), founded in 2000, is a unique movement of companies committed to Corporate Responsibility practices. Our purpose is to inspire, challenge and support business in continually improving its positive impact on society in the community, environment, marketplace and workplace.
- Established in 2001, The Schools’ Business Partnership (SBP) is a flagship programme managed by Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI). It is conducted in association with Marks & Spencer and supported by Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. and Bord Gáis.
- SBP Programmes offered include:
(a) The Student Mentoring Programme encourages students who are at risk of leaving school early to continue with their studies with the advice of a mentor at a local business. The students meet their mentors at their workplace for an hour every 3 weeks for the final two years of their post primary schooling. Mentors provide support in terms of discussing career options, networking on their behalf, researching college choices, etc.
(b) The Skills @ Work programme involves employees from local businesses talking to students about real-life skills required in the workplace. The students attend site visits, ‘day in the life’ talks, interview preparation and CV writing. They also benefit from mock interviews.
(c) The Management Excellence for Principals programme sponsored by Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. facilitates skills sharing between business and school leaders. 542 Principals have participated, which represents just over 70% of all post primary principals in Ireland. Companies whose senior executives deliver these seminars to small groups of principals include: Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Vistakon, Centocor, Donegal Investment Group, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, KPMG, Coillte, National Irish Bank, Diageo, An Post, Anglo Irish Bank, Vhi, élan, One Direct, CRH, Allergan, RTE, Pramerica, Alza, ESB, Intel, The Kerryman, Musgraves, IMI and IBM.
(d) The Management Excellence for Teachers programme receives funding from the Department of Education & Skills and the business contribution is expertise and time. Business leaders provide workshop/seminars to whole teaching staffs on topics identified by the teachers such as: teamwork, communication skills, flexibility skills; PR; time management skills; ICT and education; etc.
(f) The “Time to Read” programme sponsored by ESB is signalling considerable impacts & success in the area of childhood literacy. Employees from companies provide reading support to a child with the aim of increasing the enjoyment and confidence of reading and encourage self-discovery. Officially launched in December 2013, the programme is having proven effects on employee engagement.
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at Logz.io, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company Logz.io. In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
Nov. 29, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 247
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Nov. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 483
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Nov. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 412
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 350
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 417
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:30 PM EST Reads: 423
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 525
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 29, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 324
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Nov. 29, 2015 11:30 AM EST Reads: 273
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
Nov. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 202
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Nov. 29, 2015 09:45 AM EST Reads: 451
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...
Nov. 29, 2015 09:15 AM EST Reads: 344
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 29, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 221
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Nov. 29, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 274
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Y...
Nov. 29, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 499