Archive for May, 2010
Yesterday’s Sunday Business Post ran a story I wrote about Bluebrick.ie, a new website which helps candidates find out about the flexible learning options on offer across Ireland’s 14 institutes of technology. The site, and the courses behind it, are being promoted by Dr Richard Thorn, director of flexible learning at Institute of Technology Ireland.
One of the more interesting features about BlueBrick.ie is the way the site can intelligently guide users towards courses or subjects, which they might not have thought of before.
‘‘The site makes suggestions of other courses or areas based on what you have searched for already, similar to sites like Amazon and Expedia,” Thorn said. ‘‘If you are looking at a green energy course, it will remember what other things people who looked at green energy before also looked at, and prompt you to look at those courses too. For example, someone with an electrical installation qualification might be pointed towards courses around sustainable energy.”
The full text of the article, including some very interesting stuff about how the ITs are focusing more now on lifelong learning than school-leavers, and attempts to bring in flexible, modularised learning that would allow students to pick subjects from any course in any IT, is through here on the SBPost website.
Or you could go straight to the BlueBrick.ie website itself I guess.
Last Sunday’s Sunday Business Post had a page I put together featuring three small Irish companies who are making big progress despite the downturn. The feature page is in association with small business networking site, Smallbusinesscan.com, and looked at the different challenges facing Irish small businesses as they look to grow in an uncertain economic climate.
Smallbusinesscan.com is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Ron Immink and Fionan Sheehan, and is supported by Ulster Bank. It recently got a web 2.0 revamp, and now includes loads of handy community-building features such as member profiles, networking groups, friend functionality, contributor articles and plenty more social media type stuff.
Sunday’s three SBPost profiles are up now online on the Smallbusinesscan.com site. Click here to read about how Clare company Cup Print became Europe’s fastest-growing paper cup manufacturer, here for how Cork’s Mahers Sports is upping its game by playing to its teams’ strengths and / or here for Cork’s JamJo Design’s co-owners discussing how new small businesses can make new media work for them.
Yesterday’s When Saturday Comes website ‘WSC Daily’ feature was a short piece I wrote about Football Club Barcelona’s outgoing president Joan Laporta’s real world political ambitions. It seems as if Joan fancies himself as the man to bring about an independent Catalonia. As the piece says:
“Outgoing Barcelona president Joan Laporta looks set to run as a candidate for Catalan regional president in elections this November. Although he has yet to announce his candidacy formally, a campaign website is already up and running. “I will continue to dedicate the best years of my life to the country I love,” says a beaming Laporta. “The moment has come for us all to serve Catalonia.”
To read the rest of the piece on wsc.co.uk, click here.
Last Sunday’s Sunday Business Post recruitment section had a story I wrote around a job creation event last week organised by Robert MacGiolla Phadraig, director of Sigmar. The most intriguing initiative coming from the event was a call for the creation of a ‘job creation tsar’ with a brief to coordinate job creation initiatives at all levels:
‘‘We are calling for a state appointed ambassador or chieftain to become one clear, recognisable face for job creation,” said MacGiolla Phádraig. ‘‘It would be a non-executive or evangelist type position filled by someone who understands all the moving parts involved in job creation, and who can link together all current job creation initiatives across different government departments, agencies and other stakeholders. I would see the individual coming from the private sector, with a background in dealing with government agencies and departments.”
The ‘jobs tsar’ idea was just one of ten suggestions presented to Enterprise Minister Batt O’Keeffe last Thursday, at a ‘Sigmar Job Creation Initiative’ event in the Hibernian Club on St Stephen’s Green. Elan, Microsoft, Cadbury and Hertz were among the companies that contributed to the plan, while Fiona Mullan, HR director of Microsoft, and Joe Carr, managing partner of Mazars, spoke at the event.