A new Institute of Technology, Tralee initiative entitled the â¿¿Steps-2-Successâ¿ Programme has won the 2011 AHECS* Employability Award. The announcement was made at the Gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards in the Mansion House in Dublin on Wednesday night last, the 13th April. Louise Nagle, â¿¿Steps-2-Successâ¿ Programme Co-ordinator and Mary Lucey Head of Creative Media Department accepted the award on behalf of the Institute.
The purpose of the AHECS award is to encourage, reward and share best-in-class practice among Higher Education career practitioners and employers in the area of employability. There were fourteen nominees for this yearâ¿¿s awards from within the third level sector and IT, Tralee overcame competition from colleges such as Trinity, UCC, UCD, DCU, DIT, and NUI Galway to be conferred with the national award.
The AHECS Awards Programme showcases the breadth and depth of employability initiatives across careers services in Ireland ranging from initiatives for undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers, to international and volunteering programmes, mentoring and career development programmes, and involving employers across the sectoral divide viz. public and private, SME and large organisations, indigenous and multinational, services and industry. These quality-driven, innovative projects have equipped hundreds of students to make the transition from second level to third level and from third and fourth level to the world of work.
Today, April 14th former Kerry County Captain Dara Ó Cinnéide will presents certificates of completion to a cohort of students from the ITT, who have successfully completed the â¿¿Steps- 2-Successâ¿ programme. This event takes place in the Hotel, Culinary and Tourism Building at the IT, Tralee North Campus at 5pm.
â¿¿Steps-2-Successâ¿ aims to assist final year students in the transition from third level education to the work place and identified ten steps participants should follow in their search for employment which included:
Step 1: Get motivated!
Step 2: Identify your skills and what you have to offer
Step 3: Develop your profile and learn how to market it
Step 4: Identify the hidden jobs market
Step 5: Become familiar with technologies in the workplace
Step 6: Develop teambuilding skills
Step 7: Actively network with employers
Step 8: Physically prepare yourself for the work place
Step 9: Group interviews
Step 10: Pitch to employers.
The programme was piloted over this academic year and focused on sixteen final year students who are currently completing their BA in Information System Management. The principles identified in the ten â¿¿Steps-2-Successâ¿¿ programme were delivered via seminars by motivational external speakers such as Kerry team manager, Jack Oâ¿¿ Connor; Sinead English, Careers Consultant; Breda Heaslip, HR Manager, Kerry Education Service; Paul Oâ¿¿ Leary, Entrepreneur and Irish Associate PI Europe, and local company â¿¿Performâ¿¿ as well as input from a team of experts at the Institute.
The Careers Officer and Programme Co-ordinator, Louise Nagle, explained the motivation behind developing the programme. â¿¿The current employment market is very challenging for emerging graduates. Through the â¿¿Steps-2-Successâ¿ Programme we have endeavoured to further enhance the skillset of the graduate in terms of further developing his/her ability to confidently enter the employment market in their search for a successful career. The programme compliments the extensive range of services offered by the Careers Office at the Institute. We believe that the â¿¿Steps-2-Successâ¿ Programme will give graduates that extra competitive edge. The success of the programme is evident in the fact that some of those who participated in the programme have already secured employment. Our intention is to expand the initiative next year to enable a larger cohort of the students to benefit from the programme.â¿
Local employers involved in â¿Steps-2-Successâ¿ included Brendan Kennelly, Kerryâ¿¿s Eye, Sean Buckley, The Arbutus Hotel Killarney, Suzanne Ennis, Tralee Credit Union, Alison Healy, North and East Kerry Development and Aidan Murray from 360 Solutions.
L-R: Louise Nagle, Steps 2 Success Co-ordinator, Caroline Flynn, ISM Student, Loretta Lawlor, ISM Student, Sean O Se, ISM Student, Dara O Ceinnede, Mary Lucey, Head of Creative Media Department