World Youth Skills Day 2020 - Generation COVID-19

Irish University Students Supporting the Most Vulnerable in our Communities

The current health crisis, COVID-19, has shone a light on the civic spirit and hands-on approach of our third-level students to help fight the pandemic. It has had a profound impact on the student learning experience, many of whom have headed straight to the frontline to save lives, support statistical modelling, or contact trace. Students have, and are still responding with courage, agility and resilience.

Today, on World Youth Skills Day Campus Engage responds to their civic actions by documenting some of the innovative and creative approaches of students, putting their twenty-first century skills into practice in their communities. Collating these stories is important in terms of recognising their achievements, and the social and economic value of workplace ready skills gained through higher education – particularly when applied in times of crisis.

Skills and jobs for youth are a key feature in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and UN Sustainable Development Goals. Target 4.4 specifically calls for a substantial increase in the number of youth and adults who have access to pathways to acquire relevant skills. In the current context of significant future economic uncertainty, Campus Engage advocates that the new Department of Further and Higher Education invest in creative solutions for students to transition to the work place.

Some of the students putting their skills to use during the pandemic include:

Orlaith Lyons,
Speech and Language Therapy,
NUI Galway

Jacques Kinane,
Business Information Systems,

University College Cork

Alice Dunne,
University College Dublin

Máiréad Cleary,
Journalism and Digital Communications,
University of Limerick


Rory Holohan,
University College Cork

Medb O’Keane,
University College Dublin

Chloe O’Malley,
Social Science, Community and Youth Work,
Maynooth University

For more information please contact

Kate Morris, Head of Campus Engage at

Kate Wood, IUA Communications Officer at