BY DR DAVID DEMPSEY, COUNTRY LEADER AND GENERAL MANAGER SALESFORCE IRELAND
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is delivering an explosion of innovation and with it an ever-increasing demand for new skills. We believe in a more inclusive and diverse global workforce, and that everyone, regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic background should have equal access to opportunities.
Salesforce has a proud legacy of supporting education and workforce development initiatives in Ireland over the past 20 years. We have donated to future ready organisations and volunteered 44,000 hours in 2019 alone. We have helped individual schools such as St. Dominics in Ballyfermot and St. Peter’s in Bray, provided a grant to Educate Together, supported a new Innovation Lab in Waterford IT and helped pilot Ireland’s first pre-apprenticeship for the tech sector.
I am delighted to announce a new round of grants in Ireland aimed at both supporting young people in disadvantaged areas to engage with, transition to and thrive in the world of technology. These grants, totalling $750,000 will empower three amazing initiatives to help 98 schools, 220 teachers and most importantly almost 4,500 students.
The recipients of these grants are:
Camara Ireland is focused on improving technology integration into teaching across 25 schools, including five in Dublin’s docklands area where our new office is being built.
Orna Mulhern, Camara Ireland Schools Coordinator described the Salesforce Digital Schools Project, “We believe that technology plays a key role in creating an engaging learning environment. Unfortunately, not all schools in Ireland have the resources or support to make the most of the opportunities available in EdTech and their students miss out as a result. For the Salesforce Digital Schools Project we started by facilitating conversations with school leaders on challenges and opportunities and this was key to creating a whole-school approach. After integrating a programme of professional development we had feedback, even at 6 months, of how teachers had made leaps and bounds in their application of technology and were able to see the impact through positive student outcomes.”
Trinity Access 21
Professor Brendan Tangey, Co-director of Trinity Access 21 said, “Education is central to personal wellbeing, health and economic opportunity. Overcoming educational disadvantage is very challenging and requires creativity, ingenuity and collaboration. The Bridge to College programme is an exciting initiative involving Citywise, an educational community-based NGO, and the Access Programmes, in Trinity College Dublin. The Bridge to College programme aims to help participating students develop the skills and experience needed to progress to, and thrive in, third level education.”
Fastrack to Information Technology (FIT)
FIT is working to help young people make informed career choices, gain basic technology skills and inspire them to choose a technology apprenticeship pathway.
George Ryan, Chief Operating Officer at FIT said “Since FIT’s inception, over 15,500 trainees from disadvantaged communities have progressed into employment. With the support of Salesforce, this project will help underserved youth get into Pre-tech & Tech apprenticeships and play a vital role in preventing the skills gap from widening.In Ireland more than half of young people aged 18-24 who were working before the coronavirus pandemic are now claiming the State pandemic unemployment payment. Initiatives like this give hope, direction and a clear pathway to a better future.”
At Salesforce, we have a responsibility to help these young people break through barriers and create an informed vision for their own future. There are so many exciting possibilities for those with the right skills to work in the digital economy, but first we need to address this inequality. Partnering with organisations like Camara Ireland, Trinity Access 21 and FIT is just one way we can help make an impact and we’re committed to doing all that we can to close the gap