Portadown College was the host school for the Almac Challenge on 2nd December, which saw Year 13 and 14 Chemistry students from four local schools compete to obtain work placements in the Craigavon pharmaceutical firm.

54 students from Lismore Comprehensive, Lurgan College, Portadown College and St. Ronan’s College participated in the all-day event which was facilitated by the education consultancy group, eye4education, with help from Niamh Kinsella and 10 business advisors from Almac.

The rigorous process involved students completing an application form and sitting a mental concentration test and an aptitude test. They were also put into groups and given two scenarios in which they had to collectively solve problems and create solutions while business advisors assessed their leadership qualities, individual input and team working skills. Finally, every student was interviewed by a business advisor.

Darren Nixon from eye4education and Niamh Kinsella, a recruiting specialist at Almac, visited each school the following week and provided the students with detailed feedback on their performance, an individual portfolio, and advice on areas where they could improve before awarding the placements and gift vouchers to successful students.

Portadown College students secured 10 of the 23 available placements including first place for Year 13 student Hannah Meredith with an outstanding score of 93% across the whole process.

Photo left to right:

David Spence, Head of Chemistry, Portadown College
Hannah Meredith, Year 13, Portadown College
Darren Nixon, Education Consultant, eye4education
Niamh Kinsella, Recruiting Specialist, Almac

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