Welcome to our new member – Career Training Internships
Interview with Kathy O’Dwyer, Owner
Tell us your story. How did Career Training Internships get started?
Career Training Internships nurtures emerging talent through learning English and training in the world of work. A woman-led business founded by Kathy O’Dwyer in 2010, we encourage young people from abroad to “Invest in Your Future” by coming to Ireland for an unforgettable experience of the Irish culture, workplace, and landscape. Our personalised services aim to find the best within each trainee, encouraging their personal and professional development while far from home.
We work creatively to match interns’ goals with host companies’ needs, in order to facilitate a meaningful and valuable experience for both parties. We also work with host families for accommodation, English schools for language training, and cultural providers for excursions. We help trainees and their sponsors to take care of all the required paperwork so they can focus on having an unforgettable experience!
What makes Career Training Internships different from your competitors?
Career Training Internships has grown to become one of Ireland’s premier intern placement and training companies. We have a central focus on improving the lives of young men and women through experiences in Ireland. We put long-term career satisfaction and contributions to the life of the community at the forefront.
Our goal is to provide a boutique, personalised service which reflects the needs and preferences of our clients. We are rooted in the Cork community, as our work involves many families, businesses, and tourism-related organisations throughout the area. We are always looking for new partnerships and opportunities.
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
The business has made many contributions to the Cork, Ireland community. All the exported services that we offer bring tourism spending into the local community. We have also created full-time jobs, and our work would not be possible without the efforts of a range of contract staff that help with everything from marketing to information technology and legal administration. All of this is in addition to the incredible value that trainees add to local businesses, making them more competitive and giving an international dimension to what they do. Finally, trainees return to their home country with a renewed sense of direction and report having the experience of a lifetime here in Ireland.
What can we expect to see from Career Training Internships in the future?
We have multiple projects in development. In the short-term, we will complete our company’s rebranding and digitalisation. After the launch of our new website and social media presence in late 2018, we have several more steps to complete, including growing our followership across all channels through a dedicated campaign. Digitalisation will continue as well, as we work with our partners to create a scalable, modular system that will support the business as it continues to grow.
Over the long-term, we aim to expand our international reach even further, including more trainees from the private and the U.S. markets. As the diversity and quality of our trainees continues to grow, we expect to find even more dynamic Irish businesses that can benefit from our suite of services. Our growth forecasts remain strong as a result of Ireland’s economic standing and its positioning within the European market as a key English-language destination for work training.
Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
We are now seeing the first generation of managers and supervisors in the workforce who themselves benefitted from European exchange programmes. They understand much more the importance of such experiences for young people. We have seen them as more invested in giving back to other young people as they invite them into their homes and companies as trainees and visitors to Ireland. There is also more focus on these types of exchanges than in the past, and they have a clearer understanding of the need for agencies and partners to assist in promoting such exchanges.
How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young travellers involved with Career Training Internships?
The most important step is to have a plan in place. We then convey this information at a briefing at our office on how to behave both inside and outside work, which takes place early in the stay. We try to make sure trainees are at a reasonable distance from their workplace to remove risks that might arise with a long commute. Younger trainees that might be travelling for the first time have an easier time adjusting within groups, rather than being left on their own. We also spend a tremendous amount of time and resources to create relationships with host families and companies, so we feel confident about where trainees are going. We have thorough information about the health and the needs of participants, so the matching process can take all this into consideration.
What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
Career Training Internships is in a growth phase, stepping out into a broader market and looking to connect to potential partners as we do so. We wanted to become a member of a professional organisation to stay up to date in the field and ahead of the competition. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and taking advantage of all the resources WYSE and its community have to offer.
Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event? (WYSTC, STAY WYSE, WYSE Exchange Australia, WETM-IAC) If so, what was your experience with the event?
Our founder and director, Kathy O’Dwyer, had a great experience with WYSE and IAPA in her previous au pair business. She was a founding member of IAPA at the time, and it was very helpful in forming a network and becoming part of a community. Participation in those events was a key component of establishing and growing that business. Career Training Internships looks forward to seeing new and familiar faces at WYSE events this year!
Career Training Internships focuses on bringing trainees from abroad—both from Europe and internationally—to work in Irish companies. The company works creatively to match interns’ goals with host companies’ needs, in order to facilitate a meaningful and valuable experience for both parties. It also works with host families for accommodation, English schools for language training, and cultural providers for excursions.
Membership: WYSE Travel Confederation Associate Member
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