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Irish Government Launches P-TECH Pilot to boost students’ opportunities in the Digital Economy

20181119 PTECH

An Taoiseach, the Minster for Education and Skills and the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform announce the piloting of the P-TECH (Pathways in Technology) School Model in Dublin’s North East Inner City to give local students a career pathway in the digital economy.

  • This new 6-year education model seeks to integrate third-level modules and workplace experiences alongside second-level schooling with the aim of enabling students to earn a third-level qualification, and skills required to enter the workforce.
  • P-TECH students will gain highly relevant workplace skills, such as collaboration, communication and creativity as well as professional and technical skills. 
  • Enrolment of new students will begin in March 2019, with the first classes to start in September 2019, at three participating schools. 
  • P-TECH was first developed in 2011 in Brooklyn, New York, by IBM and local educators. Since that time, P-TECH has grown to more than 100 schools across the US and other countries, with more than 500 businesses participating. Ireland is the first country in Europe to adopt the model.

The P-TECH model is a public education initiative that combines second-level school education with elements of third level education and work experiences such as mentorship and internships, and is in line with the proposed actions outlined in the Mulvey Report “Dublin North East Inner City – Creating a Brighter Future” published in February 2017 “to align education, training and employment activation efforts”. It is directly aligned to job opportunities in the digital economy Digital economy jobs include some of the technology industry's fastest growing fields, from cybersecurity and cloud computing to cognitive business and digital design, which may not require a university degree, but that may need a specific skillset instead.

Speaking at the launch An Taoiseach said,

We want to give all children and young people the best possible start in life, whatever part of the country they are growing up in. According to a recent UNICEF report, Ireland is ranked second out of 41 wealthy nations in promoting educational equality. But there's always more we can do. The P-TECH model helps tackle disadvantage through integrated education. It’s all aimed at getting students ready for the workforce. I’m delighted this pilot is being launched in the North East Inner City; if young people in this area are given the best possible chance to succeed, the entire community will benefit.

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.

Read the full press release here