In a bid to bridge the employment gap and future-proof the economy, DeCare Dental and Junior Achievement Ireland are collaborating with local schools, to inspire more young people to seek jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as a rewarding and fulfilling career choice.
Ireland needs more skilled professionals to meet the ambitions of project Ireland 2040.
Rosaleen Ruane, Data Entry Manager, from DeCare Dental, recently visited sixth-class students in Scoil Muire Gan Smál, Claremorris, to encourage students to study STEM by delivering the ‘Energize’ programme, sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland.
The Energize programme explores health and wellbeing, forensics, energy, safety, and light in a fun and exciting way.
Ms Ruane said: “We are delighted to work with Junior Achievement Ireland through volunteer-led programmes in the classroom.
“It is the hope that students continue their interest in science through to second-level education, after being introduced to the rewarding career opportunities available in the field.’’
To demonstrate the various STEM opportunities open to students in the area, students were invited to visit the facility at DeCare Dental, specialist dental insurance and oral health company based in Claremorris, which has been in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland since 2014.
During the visit, Maureen Walsh, managing director of DeCare Dental Insurance Ireland, welcomed the students.
She took the opportunity to enlighten them on the dental insurance service provided by the facility, and highlighted the importance of education, and the skills and talents that DeCare Dental look for in potential employees.
Ms Walsh commented: “Opening our site doors to students is an essential part of their development journey at this age.
“It’s an opportunity for the local students to visualise what an office looks like, be present and see that applying for a job with us is no way out of their reach in the future.’’
Noeleen Lowry, health promotion specialist and corporate health partner at DeCare Dental, presented to the students about the effect that sugar can have on dental health, and demonstrated how to measure the amount of sugar in everyday foods.
The visit was very informative for the students, as they learned some healthy habits for life, and got to see the types of roles that will be available to them in their own local town in the future.
DeCare Dental volunteers Jenna Farren and Mary Gill also delivered Junior Achievement programmes in Scoil Phádraig .S, Westport, and at Ballindine NS during the past school year.
Junior Achievement programmes delivered by business volunteers support the Department of Education’s action plan Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS).