Another Successful Year for Waterford City and County Council’s Partnership with Dungarvan College in association with Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) Schools’ Business Partnership Programme
Waterford City and County Council was delighted to continue its partnership with Dungarvan College, facilitated by Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) for the 2022/23 School Year.
Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), through its Schools’ Business Partnership, partners schools with businesses and organisations and is aimed at informing and empowering second level students and introducing them to the world of work.
This year under the programme a group of students from 2nd Year in Dungarvan College gained insights into the variety of roles in Waterford City & County Council from hearing “a day in my working life” stories from a number of staff carrying out some of the many different roles in the Council, from trade roles to firefighters to web designers and librarians. Through this engagement the students heard about potential career paths that could be open to them through school completion.
Waterford City and County Council also delivered classroom sessions on Health & Safety and Climate Action, topics that will have life-long relevance for this age group in their personal and professional lives. This is the first year where sessions were delivered in the classroom as this programme commenced during the pandemic and has evolved from there.
As part of the programme, the students and their teachers took a day-trip to visit some of the sites managed by the Local Authority to see as well as hear about the many projects and services delivered by Council staff.
The first stop was Waterford City Fire Station where the students were given a tour of the station and got to try on uniforms and apparatus used by the Fire Service in responding to incidents. The group were intrigued by the alarm and response systems as well as the underground tunnels used for training. This visit definitely whet the appetite for many of the group for a career in the Fire Services.
From there the next stop was City Hall where the group were greeted by Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary. Cllr O’Leary spoke to the group about his job as an elected representative, how he gets voted in and the onus that is on him to represent the people from his area. Cllr O’Leary also spoke about the history of City Hall and its surroundings. After lunch in Kilmeaden, the group met with the Council’s Trails Officer Johnny Brunnock, who led them on a walk along the new section of the Waterford Greenway. Mr. Brunnock chatted with the group about what is involved in making a tourism product out of the beautiful natural tracks and trails we have in this County and the development of new ones also. He explained how much of his role revolves around working with local communities and also trying to secure funding sources to enhance Waterford’s trail offering
In the recent wrap up session at Dungarvan College on May 18th, the students involved did the talking and delivered a comprehensive presentation on their programme learnings and ways in which they have benefitted from the programme.
Speaking at the wrap-up session, Helen Hogan from Dungarvan College extended her thanks to Karen Hallahan and Claire Flavin of Waterford City and County Council and to Alice Kavanagh from BITCI for their enthusiasm and engagement around this programme. She added the students had been given opportunities to gain insights into potential careers previously unknown to them and this will give them food for thought as they complete their second level studies and start to think in terms of career choice. Waterford City and County Council facilitators Karen Hallahan and Claire Flavin said the Council was delighted to be involved with this programme, hailing it as beneficial to all stakeholders involved.
Waterford City and County Council have previously worked on successful BITC partnerships with secondary schools in Waterford City as part of Transition Year Programmes. Nationally BITC has developed hundreds of partnerships, involving over 40,000 students across Ireland. In its involvement in this programme, Waterford City and County Council joins a line-up of renown with companies including KPMG, Mazars, State Street, Irish Life, Davy, KBC all involved in school partnerships across the country.