Almac’s PATHWAY points Newry students in right direction

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Monday, November 10th, 2014
Community
Students from Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry are among the first in Northern Ireland to take part in Almac’s new Schools Outreach Programme this academic year.

Permanent Secretary of the Department for Employment and Learning, Derek Baker, Niamh McKerr and Ursula Kinsella from Our Lady’s Grammar School and Stephen Barr, Managing Director of Almac’s Sciences business unit

The Pathway™ programme, which promotes STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as the route to an exciting career, was launched at the leading pharmaceutical development firm’s headquarters in Craigavon. Through the initiative over 500 A level and AS level students from across Northern Ireland will take part in tours of the different divisions of the company and meet scientists with varying backgrounds from across the Group, while others will take part in three day work experience placements. Almac also has strong links with the local universities and each year offers placements to around 60 students on degree and postgraduate courses. Alan Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of Almac, said, “As one of Northern Ireland’s leading businesses in the life sciences sector, we believe that we have a responsibility to encourage young people here to consider STEM careers which help to grow a dynamic and innovative economy. “It’s important to us to welcome these students, tell them about what our business does and encourage them to continue studying STEM subjects as they provide an excellent grounding for many careers.” Grainne Gillespie, Head of Chemistry at Our Lady’s Grammar School, said, “Our visit to Almac was a wonderful opportunity for us to meet representatives of such a committed and enthusiastic work force. “We are privileged to have this world leader on our doorstep. My students found the experience to be ‘fascinating’, ‘interesting’ and ‘really worthwhile’. They are now much better informed about career possibilities in this sector.” The outreach work is part of the company’s CSR strategy which also focuses on charity fundraising and environmental improvement. Over £20,000 has been raised for local charities, including Marie Curie, CLIC Sargent, Autism NI, Southern Area Hospice and Angels of Hope in the last year. For schools interested in taking part in next year’s Pathway™ programme information is available at www.almacgroup.com/careers/almac-outreach

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