A Wexford student was recently named the winner of AIB’s Career skills competition…
Students explore over 150 careers from Formula 1 Driver to NASA Astronaut.
It was a day of celebration at the Royal College of Physicians as secondary school students, their families, teachers and guidance counsellors gathered from across the country to attend the awards ceremony for the AIB Career Skills Competition by CareersPortal. It was a hotly contested competition this year, with c. 1,000 student entries, an increase of almost a third on 2022. Guest of honour Minister for Education Norma Foley TD congratulated the winning students on their impressive achievements and their winning entries.
A student from Ramsgrange Community School, Conor Whelan, was announced as winner of the skills competition.
His school, which were delighted said:
“Delighted for Ramsgrange Community School TY student Conor Whelan for being recognised and awarded for his Careers Portal submission today and getting a chance to meet Minister for Education Norma Foley – TD in the process. Well done Conor. We are super proud of you. Thanks also to Ms Miller for her support and encouragement to Conor and all the TYs this year.”
The competition, which was open to all senior cycle students who have undertaken a work experience placement, was developed 13 years ago by Ireland’s award winning and leading career guidance website CareersPortal. The competition aims to encourage students to focus on the importance of career skills and understand the role skills can play in their future career and educational prospects. There are six categories in the competition and students can enter either in English or Irish through a written submission or Vlog entry. The competition is sponsored by AIB.
Minister for Education Norma Foley said:
“I would like to congratulate all of the students who entered the national career skills competition, now in its 13th year. This competition is a wonderful opportunity for students to reflect on their future career and educational options and investigate where they might direct their energy and focus. Congratulations also and thanks to all involved, for providing students with this unique opportunity to learn about themselves and the many possibilities and ‘dream jobs’ that await them.”
The competition has seen a 30% increase in entries this year, reflecting the continued importance placed on work experience and career skills in second level education by teachers and students alike. While career investigations in the area of Education and Teaching, particularly Primary School Teaching, and Medical and Healthcare are always very popular with students, there was also an increased interest in other occupations across many sectors of the economy including Engineering, Creative Arts and Tourism and Hospitality.
Close to 1,000 students entered the competition this year across the six different categories, including two new categories; the Fáilte Ireland Award for Careers in Tourism and Hospitality and the Languages Connect Award for a Career with a Foreign Language. The 32 winning entries were selected from an impressive shortlist that included a diverse range of occupations from across all sectors of the economy, from students working in a hair salon, hotel, primary school, remotely with a graphic designer, a hospital, gardening on a large estate to those lucky enough to get a trip to NASA to learn how to become an astronaut!
The aim of the competition is to encourage independent career research among second level students and to foster awareness around the importance of Career Skills which can be developed as a result of completing a work experience placement. To compete, the students had to demonstrate their understanding of a chosen career, outline the education pathways that lead to it and explain the most relevant knowledge and the skills required. They also reflected on how their work experience might influence their future career and educational choices.
The Career Skills competition provides an invaluable platform for students to showcase their research and learning acquired during their placement. There is an invaluable work experience portal available to students on www.careersportal.ie. Each of the students in the winning categories won a MacBook Air laptop, those who came in 2nd place won a GOProHero10 camera and 3rd place students won a Samsung tablet. There were also prizes for all those commended. The winning schools came away with €1,000 for their school programmes.
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