Junior Achievement Ireland marks its first 20 years
Some of the top names in Irish business gathered in Dublin to mark the 20th anniversary of the Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) programme.
JAI is said to be the largest non-profit organisation in the country recruiting, training and supporting volunteers from business to facilitate in-classroom programmes covering themes such as employability, financial literacy, the value of studying STEM subjects and entrepreneurship skills for students.
Modelled along the lines of JA USA, which was set up in 1919, JAI was founded in 1996 with 600 students participating in its first programmes.
Last year, more than 63,000 students took part.
Among the companies that have supported the JAI programme are: 3M; A & L Goodbody; AIB; Baxter Healthcare; Campbell Bewley; Dell; Dublin Airport Authority; Deloitte; Fidelity; Lilly; Hewlett Packard; Irish Shell; Johnson & Johnson; PwC and Symantec.
Current patron Leslie Buckley, who is also chairman of Independent News & Media - publisher of this newspaper - hosted the event to celebrate those supporting organisations that have worked with JAI from its early days and to reflect on the impact of the programme.
He commented: "The level of demand for JA activities from school leaders and the support it enjoys from leading industry figures is testament to a really great initiative, which shows what can be achieved when industry and education are facilitated in their joint endeavours. Volunteers from businesses who work with students in the classroom is a great way to help make that connection between what they are doing in school and the real world."
JAI chairman Peter Cosgrove, who is a partner in recruitment firm CPL, added that the JA programmes and activities were now "more relevant than ever".
He went on to pay tribute to founding director Della Clancy and those chairmen who had preceded him.
Sunday Indo Business