Community Partner

Business in the Community – Coordinating Entity
Cork Institute of Technology
Mayfield Community College
North Monastery Secondary School
Terence McSwiney Community College
University College Cork

Cork, Ireland

Welcome to our Community

Community Initiative

In 2005, Johnson & Johnson and three local operating companies launched the first international BTE program, proving the BTE model could be adapted to different school settings and cultures. This unique program built long-term partnerships between business, educators, community groups and parents to support disadvantaged students in the north side of Cork City, Ireland. The program promoted a positive attitude to education and employment in the science industry and increased the number of students enrolling in and succeeding at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the University of Cork College (UCC).

Initially, the program focused on fifth-year students at three participating secondary schools (high school juniors). To increase career awareness, three Johnson & Johnson companies – Janssen Pharmaceutical, Centocor Biologics, and DePuy Ireland – hosted  hands-on programs for 160 students and parent information sessions. In subsequent years, select BTE students participated in intensive job shadowing experiences at the local operating companies. To better link students with institutions of higher education, CIT and UCC held “Taster Days” (a full-day experience on a college campus) for BTE students.  Once enrolled, BTE students received a variety of supports to help ease the transition to higher education, including a small scholarship, academic support, tutoring and networking opportunities.


The BTE – Cork program saw impacts for participating students and the partners according to an evaluation of the program. Findings include:

  • 160 students from three city schools served.
  • Increased higher education enrollment. Of the three schools engaged in the BTE, all exhibited a higher proportion of BTE students (52% to 85%) progressing to higher or further education than from the total Leaving Certificate cohort (26% to 72%). A significant cohort were first-generation college students.
  • Increased science enrollment. Of the three schools engaged in the BTE, all exhibited a higher proportion of BTE students enrolling in science courses (10% to 43%) than from the total Leaving Certificate cohort (5% to 44%).
  • Self-sustaining. Two self-sustaining programs (2009-2013 and 2014-2018). By establishing successful business-education partnerships, BTE-Cork is in its third cycle, sustained through grants from Cork City (new partner), the three local operating companies and the colleges.
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