Friday, May 06, 2022

A Mayo Leaving Certificate student has won first place at the 2022 Career Skills Competition Annual Awards Ceremony.

Madeleine Hughes from Ballinrobe Community School won top honours in the Leaving Cert category.

Madeleine Hughes from Ballinrobe Community School won top honours in the Leaving Cert category.

On Wednesday, the Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD congratulated the winning students at the 2022 Career Skills Competition Annual Awards Ceremony, celebrating the winning entries. The event which took place in the Clock Tower at the Department of Education, Dublin, was attended by the winning Students, and their families, teachers, and Guidance Counsellors. The competition was held for the first time since 2019 due to Covid-19.

The competition was developed by CareersPortalIreland’s Award Winning & Leading Career Guidance website, and this year is sponsored by AIB.

It has been running for 13 years.

Minister Foley congratulated the winners of the 2022 National Careers Skills competition across all categories, and commended the winners on their ability to reflect so well on the career and employability skills which they had developed during their work experience.

Minister Foley said: “I would like to congratulate the winners of the 2022 National Careers Skills competition across all categories.   Work experience is of such importance and the students who took part in this competition have shown a great ability, flexibility and independent research to reflect on this experience, and the career and employability skills they developed.

“The Career Skills Competition aims to promote the importance of career skills and encourage the value of career research. Work placements provide a bridge between education and training and link students and employers; they help bring the world of work to life.

Eimear Sinnott, Director at, Madeleine Hughes from Ballinrobe Community School (1st Place Leaving Cert) and David McCormack, Deputy Chief People Officer at AIB.

“I am very pleased to see that many occupations with such a diverse educational pathway explored on this occasion. The winners of the 2022 competition have explored occupations with so many different entry routes from further education and training including apprenticeships and higher education courses. I congratulate everyone who participated in making the most of this opportunity”.

The competition was open to all Senior Cycle students who were participating in the Transition Year Programme, the Leaving Cert Vocational Programme (LCVP), the Leaving Cert Applied Programme (LCA) or the Leaving Cert Established Programme (LCE) and who had undertaken a Work Experience Placement to enter. The aim of the competition is to encourage independent career research among 2nd level students and to foster awareness around the importance of Career Skillswhich can be developed as a result of completing a work experience placement.

Chloe Nic Fhearchair from Coláiste Íosagáin (1st Place Irish), Madeleine Hughes from Ballinrobe Community School (1st Place Leaving Cert) and Shane Price from Ennistymon Vocational School (1st Place TY).

Students had the choice to enter the competition in either English or Irish and in a written or Vlog format. Participation in the competition facilitates a rich understanding of a particular occupation and more importantly the pathways to access it and the career skills needed to support it. Each student who took part in the competition was required to demonstrate their understanding of a chosen career, the educational pathways that lead to it, the most relevant Knowledge Requirements and the most important Career Skillsneeded to be successful in that career. The students were also required to explain which skills they had observed during their work experience and to explain how the skills they developed during their work experience might influence their future career and educational choices.

Eimear Sinnott, MD of CareersPortal said: “Research has shown that while academic performance is important, the development of career skills are a greater indicator of future career success. Students need to understand this as early as possible so that they can work on recognising and developing these important employability skills.”

CareersPortal supports this process by providing information and resources for students and career seekers who are researching the world of work and the world of education. Having this information readily available can help students make more informed decisions about the career or educational pathway that best suits them. This up-to-date freely available Irish information is informed through collaborating and working closely with key stakeholders including Government Departments, Industry Experts, and Education Providers across the National Framework of Qualifications.

Finding relevant work experience placements can be difficult for students. It is now possible to search and apply for over 1,000 work experience placements across a range of sectors nationwide on the website.

David McCormack, Deputy Chief People Officer said “At AIB we hold economic and social inclusion as one of the key pillars of our sustainability strategy. I am delighted AIB has sponsored the Careers Skills programme for the first time, with the competition aiming to promote the importance of work placement and career skills among second level students.  These skills can be vital in setting students up for their future careers and can prove beneficial to their development.  We wish all today’s winning students the very best of luck.”

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