Microsoft Ireland will join Sandyford based Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) as the partner for The Entrepreneurial School Awards (TESA) Summit 2019. The Summit will take place on October 10 2019 and will be the culmination of a nationwide awards initiative which celebrates the work of schools in developing entrepreneurial skills in students. Microsoft will sponsor the overall winning accolade and will also host the inaugural event at One Microsoft Place. TESA showcases excellence in entrepreneurship education and marks the centenary of Junior Achievement (JA), a worldwide organisation reaching out to over 10 million young people each year. The initiative celebrates the dedication and achievements of primary and second level schools across the country that nurture entrepreneurial skills in students, helping them develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to achieve the goals they set for themselves. For more information see http://theentrepreneurialschool.eu.

 

“We are thrilled to announce this partnership, which allows us to plan a worthy celebration of the incredible work being done in schools to prepare students for future successes,” said Helen Raftery, chief executive, JAI. “The Summit will be staged at the impressive and futuristic Microsoft HQ at One Microsoft Place in Dublin’s Leopardstown on October 10. It will allow educators to exchange best practice and to participate in masterclasses. It will encourage innovation and contribute to the continuous professional development of those working to provide opportunities for entrepreneurship education in our schools.”

All TESA-accredited schools will be eligible to compete for one of the five national category prizes at the Summit, with the overall winner to be presented with ‘TESA School of the Year – Microsoft Award’.  The school deemed Ireland’s most entrepreneurial school will be invited to represent Ireland at the Entrepreneurial Schools Conference in Helsinki later this year. According to Eurostat, 6 million low qualified jobs will potentially disappear by 2025 while there is a 46% probability that Irish workers will have their roles automated by the 2030s. Entrepreneurship education (as defined by the European Commission) seeks to prepare students for this changed economy and uncertain future by providing opportunities for young people to develop the ability to think positively, to identify opportunities to make things happen, to have the self-confidence to achieve their goals and to use their talents to build a better society. JAI’s model of entrepreneurship education utilises the experience of those already in the workforce to complement the work of teachers and families in preparing students to become responsible and enterprising individuals who have the skills, knowledge and attitudes to succeed. By recruiting, training and supporting volunteers from industry to match requests from local teachers, the experience and passion of trained business volunteers are used to great effect.

James O’Connor, managing director of Microsoft International Operations, said JAI’s celebration of entrepreneurship education in Irish schools was one they were delighted to support at their Dublin campus. “The inaugural TESA Summit provides an important opportunity to recognise the innovative approaches taken by many schools as they look to empower their students to succeed in our digital world. “Our ambition at Microsoft Ireland is to empower tomorrow’s leaders to achieve more through the power of technology. Through our digital skills programme, DreamSpace, we have committed to providing 100,000 young people with bespoke digital experiences at our innovation and education hub at our new campus whilst our recent partnership with DCU has empowered 400 student teachers to deliver coding sessions in Irish schools. All of these efforts will help ensure our students leave school ready for the jobs of tomorrow.”