On Monday, [email protected] European Tech Cluster re-launched their successful Adopt-A-School programme with a new online presence and programme team.

Since its inception and formal launch by Minister Sean Sherlock TD back in 2012, the Adopt-A-School programme has led to new relationships between IT-intensive organisations and schools by providing IT equipment, tech support, software development classes, guest speakers and work placement opportunities. The programme provides an opportunity for the Industry to collaborate with schools with a view to educating the next generation of IT workers and bridging the skills gap. It’s just one part of [email protected] vision of a European Technology Cluster with world class IT companies and an innovative approach to education in IT.

Earlier this year, when Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. and Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D. launched the 2014 ICT Skills Action Plan, they referenced the Adopt-A-School framework as the blueprint for their “Enhancing ICT Capacity and Awareness” initiative, stating that “it led to vibrant and creative relationships between IT-intensive organisations and schools”.

The programme re-launch sees a new programme team consisting of Tim Horgan of CIT, Aiveen Hyland of  ePubDirect, Gillian Bergin of EMC and Sarah Walsh of [email protected] Collectively the team brings decades of valuable experience in the academic and industry space. The group has also launched a new dedicated website www.adoptaschool.ie where interested industry partners and schools can sign up for the programme or learn more about it. Tim Horgan said the new website is a “significant step in the evolution of the programme and would add a level of automation to the process”.

itcork 05

Pictured in the photo are students and teacher from Scoil Mhuire na nGrást National School, Belgooly who enjoyed a very successful industry partnership with Pepsico last year. Teacher at the school, Geraldine O’Connor said “the programme was of benefit to our school in so many ways. We cannot praise the programme enough and would like to also use this opportunity to thank Pepsico for their wonderful support”.

Denis Collins, Chairman of the Board, European Tech Cluster, commended the new team and thanked the supporting industry partners like VMware, Pepsico, EMC, Qumas, Smartcomm, ePubDirect, McKesson and Smarttech stating “Economies that produce the right talent will succeed in an increasingly competitive world. It is critical that we recognise this and deploy effective collaboration between industry and education. The result will produce talent for high value employment, skills pipeline for industry, differentiate us on a global scale from our competitors.

For further information or to sign up for the programme visit: www.adoptaschool.ie