Today saw the official launch of Clár na gComhlachtaí, the Student Enterprise Programme, provided by Údarás na Gaeltachta in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI). The programme was launched by Minister for State for Sport and the Gaeltacht and Government Chief Whip, Jack Chambers T.D., in Coláiste Cholmcille in the Conamara Gaeltacht.
Clár na gComhlachtaí encourages budding entrepreneurs in Transition Year in the Gaeltacht areas of Cork, Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Meath, Kerry and Waterford to develop their own mini-enterprises and compete in a national final. It is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) and is taught through the Irish language to students attending schools in Gaeltacht regions.
Speaking at the launch this morning, Minister Chambers said:
“Clár na gComhlachtaí is a wonderful programme which allows second-level pupils in the Gaeltacht to get a flavour of the life of an entrepreneur. They get the opportunity to learn the basic principles of enterprise in an way that is both enjoyable and challenging. These young people gain an understanding of the enormous difference between the classroom and the real work environment; they also gain an insight into the link between what they learn in that classroom and the skills which are needed to develop a business idea agus bring a new project to fruition. We hope that the programme will teach them skills which will enable them to stay in Gaeltacht areas or return to the Gaeltacht in the future.”
This was also the first public event attended by the newly-appointed chairperson of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Tomás Ó Síocháin. Speaking after the launch, he said:
“Our participation in Clár na gComhlachtaí brings together many of the most important strands of the work of Údarás na Gaeltachta: promoting entrepreneurship, supporting young people, and fostering a pride in the Irish language. It gives me great pleasure that it is here, among the young people of the Gaeltacht, that I begin my term as CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta.“
Also in attendance was Helen Rafferty, CEO of Junior Achievement Ireland who stated:
“Our partnership with Údarás is of huge importance to our work in promoting opportunities for young people to practice entrepreneurial skills. We are grateful to the Minister for officially launching Clár na gComhlachtaí 2022/23 and we are delighted that every school in na Gaeltachtaí has been offered the chance to get involved. We welcome the fact that incoming CEO Tomás Ó Síochán attended the launch of this year’s Clár as his first public engagement as a signal of his commitment to young people in the Gaeltachtaí and the ambitions we share for the programme. We look forward to another fantastic year with all our volunteers and partner teachers”