02 Jul 2022

Carlow students strike clear climate action call as they scoop top prize in national competition

Carlow students strike clear climate action call as they scoop top prize in national competition

Dara Connolly, Adam Kinsella and Lewis Mc Donnell from Colaiste Eoin, Carlow

Colaiste Eoin students have the skills to win national award, winning €1000 for innovative “Green Alert” entry placing climate action front and centre.

Organised by the National Apprenticeship Office and supported by Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris TD, the winning entries have been selected by a panel of industry experts faced with the difficult task of choosing a winner from a wide variety of interesting and innovative entries. 

The competition sees the top winning entrants awarded €1000 for their effort, with the top prize in the build category awarded to Carlow students from Coláiste Eoin for their “Green Alert”, entry.

The students will also have their work featured in a forthcoming outdoor visual display and advertising campaign later this year to help promote the wide and varied career opportunities that apprenticeships offer.

With the competition now into its second year, the 2022 Generation Apprenticeship competition seeks to help second-level learners visualise how they can combine future careers through apprenticeship with their commitment to green values and sustainable futures by tapping into their creative skills by creating a letter ‘A’ using sustainable craftsmanship. 

This year’s judging panel was comprised of experts from across engineering, construction and design who awarded entries across two main categories, each with a runner up prize, across the build category and digital categories.  

Dr Mary-Liz Trant, Director of the National Apprenticeship Office, said: 

“Huge congratulations and thanks to all the teams who entered the competition and to the judges for their invaluable support. The commitment of students, teachers and tutors provides optimism and a sense of a brighter future.

“Together they bring fresh ideas, creativity, passion and an exceptional understanding of the broader role played by apprenticeship industries in Ireland. Apprenticeship is expanding and we are creating a single, integrated and collaborative apprenticeship system that fits businesses of all sizes and careers of all types.” 

Speaking on behalf of the Coláiste Eoin team about their design, Dara Connolly said: 

“We created 5 A letters in various sizes to show apprenticeships that are really connected to green energy and we placed the word ‘APPRENTICESHIP’ down the spine of our design as the ‘backbone’ of our national response to climate change.

“We named our entry ‘The Green Alert’ because we wanted to share the message that if we don’t act now the world will face extreme heat, storms, melting glaciers and rising sea levels. Careers achieved through apprenticeship can help us take care of our planet.

“The competition has given us a great insight into the amazing apprenticeships that are on offer and the vital role of apprenticeships in driving skills growth. We are thrilled to win the top prize of €1000 in category one!”

Morgan Sheehy, Director in Roadbridge Construction and Competition Judge said:

“Well done to the winners. They showcase a wonderful mix of creativity and innovation. Apprenticeships provide opportunities for everyone and they are now on the radar of all 21st century industries.

“Young people are responding because they understand that apprenticeship enriches people’s lives and has an important role in tackling the causes and effects of climate change.”

The Generation Apprenticeship secondary schools competition is part of a broader, ongoing range of developments in the Apprenticeship space in 2022 – including the recent launch of a Gender Bursary grant to drive equality in the workplace, and the recent launch of new consortia-led apprenticeship programmes in careers as diverse as healthcare assistant, and bar manager. 

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