Record Number of Northern Ireland Students Graduate

On Thursday 19 April, nearly 100 students from schools and colleges across Northern Ireland gathered in Riddel Hall, Queen’s University Belfast to mark their Career Ready graduation.

Students from Northern Regional College, Belfast Regional College, South West Regional College, North West Regional College, and St Mark’s High School were joined by their family members and Career Ready mentors to celebrate their hard work and progress in kickstarting a successful career.

As part of the two-year Career Ready programme, students received mentoring, a paid internship, and skill development opportunities to enable them to kickstart a successful and rewarding future. In addition to celebrating the success of the most recent cohort of graduates, the ceremony also recognised the progress of students whose progress throughout the programme was outstanding.

Jamie Hanna from Belfast College, the Career Ready Northern Ireland Student of the Year, said:


I’m so proud to be named Student of the Year for Norther Ireland. Being part of Career Ready has changed my life. Thanks to my mentor and internship at Santander, my self-confidence has been transformed and I feel as though I have the skills to succeed – I can’t wait to see what the future holds!


Speaking about the success of all those graduating, Tony Madden, the Career Ready Northern Ireland Manager, said:


We’re very proud of all our talented young people who are graduating after two years of hard-work, determination and progress. The progress made by our students is a result of our network of employer supporters across Northern Ireland, who have ensured that our young people have the opportunity to enjoy a future reflecting their true talents.


Career Ready works across Northern Ireland to provide students with the paid internships, mentoring and skill masterclasses needed to prepare for the world of work. According to latest data, 98% of Career Ready students go onto a positive destination after graduating, and 96% of mentors said that their mentee had developed their employability skills over the programme.

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Notes for Editors

  • Career Ready is a UK-wide charity that links schools and colleges with employers to help prepare young people for the world of work.
  • The programme is built on four pillars which give students regular contact with working people and places: face-to-face mentoring by someone in work; masterclasses to help develop key skills and attitudes needed in their future career; workplace visits that provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of local and national employers; and work-based experiences and internships to allow students to put their learning into practice in a real work environment. Volunteering opportunities in all these areas of work are available.
  • Career Ready currently supports over 29,000 young people in over 300 schools across the UK, with more than 700 employers and approximately 4,000 employer volunteers delivering the programme
  • 98% of young people on the Career Ready programme go onto a positive destination after graduation; 80% of employers say that Career Ready interns add value to their organisation; 99% of teachers say that Career Ready sessions enhance their students’ wider learning.
  • Career Ready is cited as an example of best practice for employer engagement in the latest statutory government guidance for both schools and colleges, as well as in the latest CBI Scotland report, Delivering Excellence - A New Approach for Schools in Scotland.