Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Mark Spain from An Garda Síochána to give some advice for people considering this job:

Mark Spain

Garda Trainee

An Garda Síochána

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Mark Spain
If you are unsure I would recommend coming to an open day in the college and if possible also doing the Garda Reserve. It gives the best insight imaginable into the work of Gardaí.
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The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, or story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.
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Adult Learner

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Community Education - (1)


Community Education works with adults who wish to return to or continue their education, offering a learner-centred approach involving personal supports and tuition leading to positive personal, social and economic outcomes.

It focusses its work on people who are distant from education, training and the labour market, and is generally developed in local community projects and centres. It starts from the person’s current situation and you are encouraged to work together in creative and participative ways to set and achieve goals such as employment, personal and social change, formal certification up to Level 8, and community activity.

Who delivers Community Education?

Community Education is delivered all over Ireland by a range of providers including Education and Training Boards and independently managed not for profit groups. It takes place in a wide variety of community projects, resource centres, voluntary organisations etc.

Community education in the ETBs is co-ordinated by Community Education Facilitators. Contact your local ETB for more information. AONTAS also supports the work of community education groups outside of the ETB structure through the Community Education Network.

AONTAS estimates that there are approximately 300,000 adults involved in formal, further education programmes. These are adults availing of education through local ETBs (including adult literacy, community education, Youthreach, VTOS, Back to Education Initiative, PLC programmes and Senior Traveller Training Centres). 

AONTAS co-ordinates an online support for adult learners called One Step Up which aims to assist adults to access further education and training in their communities.  

OneStepUp.ie brings together all of the contact details for the further education services in the Education and Training Boards, along with useful resources and websites in a simple, easy to use format.  The site has been especially designed for use on a smartphone and tablet, but is also accessible on a PC. 

To search OneStepUp click here. For people who have difficulty using the website there is a Freephone Helpline 1800 303 669.

What Next?

The "What Next?" guide from AONTAS also provides very practical information for adult learners and can be downloaded here [Pdf]. Hard copies are available from AONTAS.