A group of transition year students gained business experience this January by running Portlaoise College's Electric Bank.
As part of the national AIB Build a Bank competition, they helped students to open bank accounts during school lunchtimes in January.
The six-strong team were Kasia Polak, Nikitta Cullen, Evan Buckley, Izar Diaz and Siófra Marum.
They will next give a presentation at the National final of the Build a Bank competition in the RDS in Dublin on March 25 and hope to win one of 20 prizes for their school, with a top prize of €5,000.
Sinéad Boland is their teacher.
“The students have really built on their confidence, leadership and motivational skills, communication and interpersonal skills. They learnt a variety of life-long skills which will stand to them when they leave school,” she said.
The team had to think of a theme for their project and chose Electric Bank as the word electric is widely associated with Laois because of Electric Picnic.
Evan Buckley is from Portlaoise.
“I think this is a great project. Students should be prepared for getting summer jobs and joining the workforce when we leave college. We’ll all need to have bank accounts and bank cards for getting paid and we will hopefully have some good savings.
“We also raised money for our Gambia project,” he said.
A group of students are taking a humanitarian trip to Gambia in February.