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St. Michael’s College & Quinn Industrial Holdings Partnership

The date for this launch will be 2pm on Friday 17th June at St Michael’s College. How did this partnership come about? The idea was born out of a Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) careers speed date event which was attended by Seán Carlin (Head of Careers) & Connor Mc Barron (Head of Technology & Design) during February 2015. During the course of the last year Connor McBarron, Seán Carlin and our Principal, Mr Mark Henry have engaged with Mr Kevin Lunney and Mrs Caroline McCaffrey from Quinn to address employer and school needs in a real and meaningful way.


We would hope to formalise an agreement to build a strong working relationship with Quinn’s that is of mutual benefit and that creates opportunities for our pupils to play their part in growing the economic prosperity of the local community. We would envision that happening in a number of ways.

Develop links that:

  • show pupils a clear line of sight into the local workforce

  • allow pupils to see Quinn’s as a viable career option in their future

  • Try to reverse the “brain drain” out of the area by showing more clearly the opportunities that are available in different career paths locally

  • Provide a workforce that are up-skilled to meet the needs of local employers

  • Share expertise to enhance the curriculum that we offer to better engage the pupils

Our aim is to address two issues that have been highlighted in two recent documents. The first issue has been highlighted in the FEDO Research study commissioned by the then Fermanagh District Council in response to the “Independent Review of Economic Policy (DETI & Invest NI 2009). One of this study’s key issues that we are addressing is the one around schools in the area educating pupils for “economic export”. The other issue is the strategic review of CEIAG in schools at present by the ETI where the emphasis is on providing a clear “line of sight” into employment from education. What this partnership is aiming to do is to address the “brain drain” of talent from Fermanagh and provide pupils with better Labour Market Information (LMI) in the local area that allows them to see the options available to them in the local economy.

The following are the areas that we agree to cooperate on:

  • Bursary awards for the Top GCSE Engineering and Top GCSE Technology & Design of £250 per prize winner.

  • Provide interviewers for our various interview skills programmes

  • Paid work placements for Year 13 pupils via a selection process. Possibility for successful candidates to be supported through to an appropriate educational level. There were three successful candidates from a selection process that will start their placements this summer.

  • Sponsorship of Technology & Design department in the school with signage and a presence on our media platforms that reflects the level and scale of partnership

  • Providing technical, help and expertise within the curriculum through use of link engineer(s)

  • Providing financial help to pupils who are entered for relevant competitions / bursaries e.g Arkwright Foundation

  • To bring representatives of Quinn’s in to participate more in our Careers programme to promote career paths

  • Look at sponsoring other sporting and cultural events that the school would be seeking support for and that match the areas of social responsibility that Quinn’s would like to support.

Specifics of naming rights to T&D Department regarding collaboration with Quinn Holdings

  • Substantial Capital Investment over five years. Details are as follows:

1) Laser CADCAM cutter, 3-D Printer and A3 scanner, new livery and signage

2) Supply a new design software free of charge called REVIT. This means that pupils will get access to cutting edge software through our Technology & Design, Engineering and BTEC Construction courses

3) Provide staff training on this software through our dedicated link person, Mark Clarkson

4) Provide to St Michael’s College staff the availability of CPD (Continuous Professional Development) opportunities. This would also be reciprocated by staff identified by QIH who would benefit from the input of St Michael’s College staff.

5) Develop accredited courses that will be made available to pupils and staff in the use of REVIT

The other areas of collaboration with the Careers Department and Quinn Holdings will be finalised in due course but will centre around:

  • Junior year group visits

  • Chemical Engineering specific visit

  • Develop industry specific accredited courses not just in RIVET, as mentioned above, but also Health & Safety

To our mind there are no other schools that are making such an offering to their pupils and that the scope and detail of this partnership makes it unique and possibly will be seen as the type of collaboration that is of best practice between a school and private industry that helps a school to continue to invest in its’ infrastructure in a way that allows more effective curriculum to be developed that has real benefits and relevance in the world of work. The opportunity to share resources and allow staff of QIH and St Michael’s College to share in professional development opportunities is also an exciting development that enhances our CEIAG provision elevating it to an excellent standard.

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