Owen Crozier - Manager
Owen joined School Employer Connections in December 2002. He attended the College of Technology in Belfast for four years obtaining a professional qualification with the Textile Institute. He has worked for three textile companies in a variety of management roles varying from Quality Control to Production, Warehousing to Cost Accounting as a Work Study Officer. He is also qualified as a NVQ Assessor.
Owen's job involves recruiting organisations to provide work experience placements. He then plans and organises these placements, liaising between the employer, the student and the teacher. Owen helps to prepare employers to host students by planning the content and structure of the placement. He takes students through an induction programme to better inform them about their placement. Owen oversees the evaluation of the programme so its success can be monitored and, overall, his work allows students to experience and learn about the world of work, which will hopefully have a positive impact on students' career aspirations.
Owen says "School Employer Connections enabled me to achieve a long held ambition to put something back into the community. By assisting and developing work experience opportunities for students who may not otherwise be aware or avail of them, I can be part of a process that influences students to focus on a suitable career."
Vivienne Kerr - Class Programme & Events Programme Manager
Vivienne Kerr joined School Employer Connections in September 2006. Prior to her appointment she completed the LCCI Private and Executive Secretary's Diploma before going on to achieve her LLB Law and Business at the University of Ulster.
Vivienne says "I enjoy seeking new opportunities for School Employer Connections. My role involves developing programme ideas, securing funding, developing relationships with partners and promoting the organsiation. Working as part of a small team in the School Employer Connections office means that we all work very closely together. The enthusiasm we each have for our work is greatly enhanced by the ability to bounce ideas off each other. The support we get from local businesses has ensured that our programmes have developed strong foundations which will enable us to go from strength to strength.”
As Programme Manager for the Class Programme, Vivienne encourages employers to take part saying, "Students need employability learning to supplement their textbook learning. By engaging in the Class Programme and giving some time to students, you can have a positive impact on their future - both academic and through their understanding of the world of work. I would encourage all employers to give time to our students. There is nothing more valuable to young people."
Marie O'Connell-Biamis - Assistant Manager
Marie O’Connell-Biamis became part of the team at School Employer Connections (SEC) in May 2012. After graduating with a B.A. and M.A. from Queen’s University Belfast, Marie spent several years developing all aspects of her business skills while a self-employed partner in an Export/Import Company. Marie has completed a P.G.C.E. in English and Media Studies and has taught both locally and abroad. More recently, Marie has worked as an Outreach Teacher for over eight years with Foyle Down Syndrome Trust which promotes educational and social inclusion.
Marie’s background in education and business equips her well for her role in SEC. Like the others in the work experience team, Marie works directly with employers, students and teachers throughout the west of Northern Ireland and carries out a student-led process which seeks meaningful work experience placements. Marie’s role also involves: supervision and training of work experience staff; contributing to the development of the Work Experience Programme procedures and protocols; developing SEC’s Special Educational Needs work experience process; assisting with funding applications; representing SEC at meetings with key employers and at events; expanding and maintaining relationships with schools and the public-spirited employers who, every year, accommodate so many worthwhile work placements.
Sheree Farren - Work Experience Programme Officer
Sheree joined School Employer Connections in February 2013. A former student of graphic design, she turns her hand to anything artistic within the company! Sheree has interests in film and music.
Martin McElhinney - Work Experience Programme Officer
Martin is the most recent addition to the team. His role supports the work experience team. Martin has made himself invaluable to schools in his short time with the company. He has a background in finance working for James Doherty Meats in a previous life. He is keen on walking and quiz shows, when he gets time away from organising work experience!
Margaret Dolan - Programme Administrator
As Programme Administrator, Margaret maintains all office administration.
Photos to follow.