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.