DCU Access to the Workplace provides DCU Access students with a high quality internship during their summer break, hosted by leading Irish companies participating in the programme.
Using their summer break to gain professional experience related to their degree can significantly enhance a student’s future career prospects and social mobility. However, not all students possess the social and professional networks that can help to secure paid, professional summer work experience. This is particularly true for DCU Access students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
In response, DCU Educational Trust and DCU’s Access Service launched DCU Access to the Workplace, to enable Access students to find high-quality summer employment in established workplaces and to generate a modest income during their summer break.
Since its establishment in 2019, the programme has received widespread recognition for its excellence and innovation, winning the Best Business and Third Level Institution Collaboration prize at the Education Awards in 2020. DCU Access to the Workplace is also backed by Rethink Ireland’s Children and Youth Fund, which is supporting the programme’s growth and development over the next three years.
Access students are a part of DCU’s Access Programme, the largest programme of its kind in Ireland, supporting nearly 1,200 students in the 2020/2021 academic year. It makes third level education attainable to talented students from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds and provides a range of personal, financial and academic support to enable students to thrive and excel in their studies in DCU.
The commitment of our Access to the Workplace partners is critical in enabling students to save, while also preparing for work in a professional environment and gaining experience in their chosen field.
AIG Europe ltd
Allied Irish Banks plc
Alltech Bioscience Centre
B.C. McGettigan Limited
Britvic International and Ireland
CAE Parc Aviation
Carne Global Financial Services
Codex Office Solutions
County Monaghan Fund
Fidelity Investments Ireland
Fingal County Council
Highfield Hospital Group
Irish Distillers Pernod Richard
Irish Life Group ltd
LIDL (Ireland) ltd
Marks and Spencer Ireland
Mason Hayes & Curran
Matthews Coach Hire ltd
McGarrell Reilly Group
Mondelez Ireland ltd
MUFG Investor Services
National Recruitment Federation
National Standards Authority of Ireland
National Treasury Management Agency
Ulster Bank Ireland ltd
William Fry Solicitors
Willis Towers Watson
The 2019 pilot of the Access to the Workplace Programme enabled 50 DCU Access students to find high-quality summer employment in 39 established workplaces and to generate a modest income during their summer break.
DCU Educational Trust and DCU’s Access Service were keen to monitor outcomes and to evaluate the impact of the pilot programme for both students and companies. In order to do this, students completed a pre-placement survey and a post-placement reflective log. S3 Solutions were also commissioned to conduct an independent evaluation by gathering additional qualitative data through 25 student and 22 company interviews.
Below is an overview of some of the key findings from the independent evaluation of the 2019 pilot programme. The full pilot impact review can be viewed here.