Joey’s Alumni Networking Breakfast marks the launch of P-TECH technology training programme
Wednesday, 16th October 2019 – This morning, St. Joseph’s CBS Alumni hosted its inaugural networking event in the Fire Restaurant in Dublin to mark the launch of the P-TECH (Pathways in Technology) education programme in St. Joseph’s CBS, Fairview. P-TECH gives students a career pathway in the digital economy with a new 6-year education model which integrates third-level education modules and workplace experiences alongside second-level schooling with the aim of enabling students to earn a third-level qualification and the skills required to enter the workforce in the digital economy. The P-TECH programme will give students highly relevant workplace skills including collaboration, communication and creativity as well as professional and technical skills in robotics and coding.
P-TECH was first developed in 2011 in Brooklyn, New York, by IBM and local educators. Since that time, P-TECH has grown to be offered in more than 100 schools across the United States and other countries, with more than 500 businesses participating. Ireland is the first country in Europe to adopt and implement the P-TECH model.
Speaking at this morning’s event hosted by the Joey’s Alumni, President of the Joey’s Alumni David Rafferty said: “As former students of Joey’s, we wanted to support the school and the students today and in a practical way that would help create learning and career opportunities for students. We have had great enthusiasm and support from St. Joseph’s and their students, and interest and support from our Alumni and the companies that they are involved with. Government Ministers and the Department of Education have also backed the Programme. We hope and expect that P-TECH will create opportunities and open up new possibilities for kids from the north inner city, and for Joey’s.”
Commenting, St. Joseph’s CBS Principal, Gerry Cullen said: “The P-TECH programme straddles the existing Junior Cert and Leaving Cert programmes and enhances these with workplace experience and mentoring by businesses. It gives students a real taste for the practical application of the technology skills they learn in school and a pathway to qualifications and ultimately careers in the digital economy. For St. Joseph’s, it is an added bonus to work with businesses and our Joey’s Alumni in developing and delivering this programme to our students.”
Course Director and Second Year Leader at St. Joseph’s Alexandra Duane, outlined how the P-TECH programme is being rolled out to students. She said: “P-TECH has generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm among students, particularly the prospect of site visits, work placements and individual student mentoring with our P-TECH business partners, including sector leaders, IBM and Cisco. Our second years currently get two sessions of Robotics and two sessions of Coding per week. They are excited about learning and what is coming next in the P-TECH programme. It is a brilliant initiative and we are delighted to be part of it.”
The first schools in Ireland to participate in the P-TECH pilot will be Larkin Community College, Marino College and St Joseph’s CBS, Dublin. The National College of Ireland will be the initial third-level education partner. IBM, Cisco, Virgin Media, Irish Water and Irish Life will participate as the first industry partners.