This year saw the SCA become involved for the first time with Junior Achievement Ireland, as part of the NTMA volunteer initiative and to compliment the SCA’s work with primary and secondary schools. JAI marks its 20th anniversary and the NTMA (SCA parent agency) marks its 25th anniversary.
JAI is a not for profit organisation that recruits, trains and supports volunteers from business to facilitate programmes covering themes such as employability, financial literacy, the value of studying STEM subjects and entrepreneurship skills in schools. A volunteer is selected from a business background to deliver one of the programmes to pupils. The SCA, by means of State indemnity, provide risk management and claims management services to 105 community, comprehensive and model schools throughout the country and the involvement in JAI was an obvious step for SCA.
The State Claims Agency’s first volunteer was Ben Mannering, Senior Claims Manager, who visited Assumption Secondary School, Walkinstown. Ben delivered the “Success Skills” Junior Achievement programme to Transition Year students. The programme covers such topics as interpersonal skills, CV proofing, interview techniques and preparing for the first interview. In the feedback from the school, the students’ teacher (Niamh Dwyer) said “the pupils were delighted to take part in the success skills programme and they benefitted so much from the whole experience of working with a volunteer like Ben who became a role model to the students. We really appreciate all the time and effort Ben put into the programme to make it such a success”. Ben found the experience very practical.
It is difficult to remember how little we all knew in school about the workplace that we now take for granted. The pupils’ interaction was fantastic. The highlight was reviewing one pupil’s CV which would put my own to shame, the future is in safe hands!
This term, Deirdre Malone, Litigation Solicitor, will be teaching the Junior Achievement programme entitled “Ourselves” to the Junior Infants class of Scoil Chaitriona, Mask Avenue, Coolock, Dublin 5. Deirdre’s course involves the use of compelling stories and hands-on activities related to helping, working, earning, and saving to engage the students and introduce them to the economic roles of individuals. Future solicitors in the making no doubt!
Both primary and secondary schools can get involved in the programme by contacting JAI at http://jai.ie.
Article by: Ben Mannering,
Senior Claims Manager, SCA