The Public Appointments Service, through its website publicjobs.ie, has today (22.09.21) launched a new programme for second-level students that aims to spark interest in the wide variety of career opportunities that are available across the public sector. The Public Jobs Schools Resource Kit presents information about public sector careers in a new way for guidance counsellors and other teachers, to build confidence around discussing career options in the public sector with students and their parents.
The initiative, which was part-funded under the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Public Sector Innovation Fund, is a ‘pick up and teach’ resource that speaks to the curriculum and is accessible online. The Resource Kit contains six lesson plans, covering diverse career paths and entry routes to the public sector, as well as employee videos that bring lesser-known roles to life. These include a Customs dog handler with Revenue; an economist at the Department of Education; a tour guide at the National Botanic Gardens (Office of Public Works); and an emergency medical controller with the National Ambulance Service. The resources, which are all free to use, can be found on a dedicated schools microsite on publicjobs.ie and are available in both Irish and English. Students will have the opportunity to pitch a career in the public sector to their peers and a panel of judges as part of an advertising challenge to be launched in 2022. Further details of this will be announced closer to the time.
Commenting on the initiative, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath said: “The public service offers dynamic careers for ambitious people who want to make a positive contribution to society. The Public Jobs Schools Resource Kit is an excellent resource to spark an interest in young people about the diversity of career opportunities in the public service. My Department is delighted to have supported the development of this programme through the Public Sector Innovation Fund 2020. I hope it will inspire students, as they think about what they would like to do when they leave school or college, to consider a career in public service, which would be both personally rewarding and beneficial to society.”
Chief Executive Officer at the Public Appointments Service, Shirley Comerford said: “More than 350,000 people are employed in the public sector in Ireland. It is a wonderful career option that offers the opportunity to contribute positively to Irish life and the society in which we live. In addition, the sector offers clear career progression, as well as ongoing opportunities for upskilling. Despite this, feedback from teachers was that they did not feel equipped with the information to inform their students about career options and paths into the public sector, or to explain progression paths and grade structures. This project was developed, in consultation with guidance counsellors, other teachers and students, to address this requirement. It presents a real opportunity for us to demystify the public sector for students, and to encourage them to consider a career in the public sector as we continue to develop a talented, diverse public sector that reflects the diversity of Irish society.”
She added: “We are very grateful for the support we have received through the Public Sector Innovation Fund 2020 and for the feedback from educational experts, teachers and students throughout the development process. These elements combined have allowed us to create an innovative, interactive resource that we hope will speak to students. We look forward to seeing the programme develop with the launch of the schools advertising challenge early next year.”
President of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, Beatrice Dooley said: “The Institute of Guidance Counsellors is excited to work with publicjobs.ie to communicate the diversity of career opportunities available across the public sector. Given our unique access to learners and job seekers across the student lifespan, the Institute of Guidance Counsellors is ideally positioned to highlight this variety through the delivery of the Public Jobs Schools Resource Kit in guidance classes throughout Ireland, as well as one-to-one career guidance appointments.”
More information about the programme is available at www.publicjobs.ie/schools.