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 Margaret Donaghue from Civil and Public Service Jobs to give some advice for people considering this job:

Margaret Donaghue

Prison Officer

Civil and Public Service Jobs

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Margaret Donaghue
Learn as much as you can in any situation that presents itself. Never be afraid to try something even if it scares you to do so. And give it all you have. Be a good listener and a good communicator and be fair.
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Naturalist?
Naturalist
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Adult Learner

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Other Funding for Adult Learners


There are some other sources of financial support available to adult learners who meet specific criteria as outlined below.

SPIDAS

The Special Initiatives for Disadvantaged Adults Scheme forms part of the community education grant. This is a small, discretionary fund to enable ETBs to support disadvantaged learners who are attending second chance education (QQI Levels 1-4) and provides funds towards the cost of books, fees, materials, travel and food. It is only used in exceptional circumstances and where all other programmes do not apply, so for example, it is not applicable where a learner is in receipt of Back to Education Allowance

To find out more information: click here

AREA-BASED SUPPORTS

St. Vincent de Paul

There is some help at local level for clients of St. Vincent de Paul through an assistance fund. Applicants can apply to the Education Officer in the Society, enclosing a letter outlining what they are studying and what factors are inhibiting their studies. Generally this fund is reserved for learners who have not been successful with other agencies.

To find out more: click here

The Credit Union 

Credit Unions in Ireland provide support for members in their catchment areas for studying at all levels of further and higher education:

Education Loans - Credit unions offer education loans to members, either for the support of members themselves or for a son or daughter. Whilst a full-time course in higher education is generally the prerequisite for consideration, some credit unions may offer finance to support participation in other types of education and training. Credit union education loans are often offered at a cheaper interest rate than other types of loans.

Education Grants/Bursaries - Credit Unions provide a number of education grants or bursaries in their catchment areas for students studying at all levels of further and higher education. For more information: click here

For more details of your local Credit Union: click here

Dublin Port Company Scholarships 

Dublin Port Company has initiated a scheme to provide opportunities for individuals living in the Port area of Dublin to access education. Candidates include school leavers, mature students and individuals wishing to pursue third level foundation courses and repeat leaving certificate students.

For more details: click here

Annie Kelly Education Bursary

This funding is aimed at people living in North Inner City Dublin communities who have been affected by drug misuse and is designed to promote access to third level education.

For more information phone: 01-8366592 or click here

OTHER EDUCATION SUPPORTS FOR ADULTS

SIPTU

Workers who are Members of SIPTU can apply for financial support of up to €1,000 for each year of an educational course for a maximum of 4 years, relating to trade union issues, equality, industrial relations and the wider labour movement. Closing date for applications is 30th September annually.

For more information: click here

IMPACT

Workers who are members of IMPACT can apply for financial support for courses in Industrial relations or Trade Union Studies to assist them in their role as a Union Representative.

For more information: click here

It is also worth exploring Grants & Scholarships for information on financial supports generally available to all 3rd Level Students, including Scholarships awarded on the basis of academic merit or talent such as sport or music.