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 Brian Macken from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Brian Macken

Science Communicator

Smart Futures

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Brian Macken

I would strongly advise you to do the Masters in Science Communication in DCU. It really gives you a feel for the different kinds of media and ways of explaining things. And it's a good place to make contacts, which is also useful.

I would also recommend that you read science books. Not textbooks, good popular science books are just as useful for this kind of work, as it's already been broken down into simpler language for you. And only read the ones that you're interested in - it shouldn't be a chore to read them.

But I would recommend reading outside your subject area, so if you're into physics, then read some books on biology and vice versa (everyone should read Stephen J. Gould).  However, the more knowledge you have, the more questions you'll be able to answer.

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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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Motor Mechanic
In Summary header image

Motor Mechanic

A Motor Mechanic is a skilled technician who services and resolves technical concerns with light passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

The work includes:
  • Carrying out the routine service procedures as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer
  • Examining and preparing the vehicle for the National Car Test (NCT) or the Commercial Vehicle Road worthiness Test (CVRT)
  • Diagnosing and resolving problems with the operation of the mechanical and electrical systems of vehicles
  • Carrying out all work in accordance with manufacturer’s recommended procedures.
Motor Mechanics are required to
  • Observe and adhere to all national and EU Health, Safety and Environmental legislation and precautions relative to their work.
  • Read, interpret and adhere to the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions when servicing vehicles.
  • Use specialised equipment to check the operation of the lighting, steering, braking and other systems and also to measure exhaust emissions, recording the results and liaising with the customer.
  • Use logical thinking and manufacturer’s recommended diagnostic techniques to identify and resolve problems.



Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade. 

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade O5 (grade C3 pre-2017) in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.



Training header image

Phase 1: With Employer

  • Induction Training
  • Introduction to Health & Safety
  • Introduction to Tools & Equipment
  • Introduction to Basic Skills

Phase 2: Delivered in Training Centre (20 weeks)
Course Contents

  • Induction
  • Body Electrics
  • Engine Mechanical
  • Ignition & Transducers
  • Petrol Fuel Injection
  • Transmission
  • Suspension & Steering
  • Brakes
  • Compression Ignition
  • Workshop Technology
  • Related Theory

Phase 3: With Employer

Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 4: Delivered in Educational Colleges (10 weeks)
Course Content:

  • Engine Mechanical
  • Body Electrics
  • Braking Systems
  • Transmission
  • Petrol Fuel Injection
  • Steering & Suspension
  • Compression Ignition
  • Service-Quality & Management
  • Related Theory

Phase 5: With Employer

Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 6: Delivered in Educational Colleges (10 weeks)
Course Content:

  • Petrol Engine Management System
  • Steering and Suspension
  • Brakes
  • Transmission
  • Body Electronics
  • Compression Ignition

Phase 7: With Employer

Work Based Training and Assessments

The overall duration of this apprenticeship is a minimum of 4 years provided all phases are successfully completed.

On successful completion of the programme the learner is awarded a Level 6 Advanced Certifcate Craft – Motor Mechanics.


Personal Qualities header image

As a Motor Mechanic you will need to be physically active and to be able to work with your hands.

An awareness of health and safety and good housekeeping is essential as well as attention to detail.

The Motor Mechanic must have the ability to:

  • Plan and organise
  • Communicate effectively
  • Solve problems
  • Work independently and as part of a team
  • Show a positive attitude
  • Recognise the need for good customer relations
  • Demonstrate good work practices including time keeping, tidiness, responsibility, quality awareness and safety awareness 
Note: A person wishing to become an apprentice Motor Mechanic must pass a colour–vision test approved by SOLAS.


Work Activities header image

  • Learning and developing new craft-related skills, knowledge and competencies
  • Working with and learning from experienced craftspersons
  • Comply with Health and Safety requirements
  • Working with vehicles
  • Accepting responsibility for the quality of own work
  • Being physically active
  • Using the special service tools, materials and equipment
  • Reading and interpreting technical instructions and diagrams
  • Diagnose and repair mechanical and electrical systems
  • Dismantling, examining and re-assembling mechanical systems and components
  • Testing electrical and electronic systems and components
  • Record and communicate accurate work records or reports
  • Driving vehicles
  • Taking responsibility for own learning, including the allocation of study time
  • Passing all your phase exams ( theory, practicals, skills demonstrations)
  • Earning as you learn


Pay & Fees header image

Funding Arrangements

All apprentices are paid a Training Allowance while attending off-the-job training in training centres or college, and an Apprentice Rate of pay during the on-the-job phases of their apprenticeship.

Details of the Training Allowances payable are available here.

What apprentice rate wages are paid?

Apprentice rates are paid for the on-the-job phases of apprenticeships. The actual rates paid may vary depending on the occupation and employer. Generally, the rates will increase in a number of steps during the apprenticeship. For example:

 

All other Trades

Electrical

Apprentices

APPRENTICE RATE

€ / hr

€ / hr

1st Year Rate

2nd Year Rate

3rd Year Rate

4th Year Rate

5.73

8.61

12.91

15.49

6.22

9.33

13.48

16.59

Note: You should always seek details of specific rates of pay for apprentices from prospective employers.

Apprentice Student Contribution

The Annual Student Contribution is levied on students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology. As part of the changes included in Budget 2014, apprentices now pay the same contribution as full time students, but their contribution is based on the time they spend in the Institute or College.

The Student Contribution is payable to the IoT /College on the date of registration for the training phase. You should consult the relevant IoT/College for details of payment options.

Note: Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the IoT or College for repeat exams. 

Female Apprentices' bursary for employers

To promote the entry of women into the designated apprenticeships, a bursary is available to employers to encourage an increased level of recruitment of female apprentices.

For more information Click here or contact your local ETB Training Centre.


Entry Requirements header image

The minimum age at which the employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age. 
The minimum educational requirements are: 
1. Grade D in five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,
or
2. The successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course 
or 
3. Three years’ work experience gained over sixteen years of age in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable 

Note: These are the current approved minimum educational requirements for apprenticeship programmes, however, previous experience of the following subjects would be an advantage but not essential:

  • Metalwork
  • Mathematics
  • Technical Drawing/Graphics
  • Physics
  • Technology
Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade.

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade O5 (grade C3 pre-2017) in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.


Getting an Apprenticeship header image

You must obtain employment as an apprentice in your chosen occupation.

  • The employer must be approved to train apprentices.
  • The employer must register you as an apprentice within two weeks of recruitment.
Note: Motor Mechanic Apprenticeship applicants are required to pass a colour vision test approved by SOLAS.


Job vacancies are advertised in a number of ways: 

  • SIMI advertise current vacancies for our member companies on thir website: click here
  • LinkedIn Automotive Jobs Group: click here
  • On Adverts.ie: click here

These jobs are regularly updated with new positions. We would advise anyone looking for a job in the Motor Industry to regular check these websites. Member companies would also advertise locally in newspapers and their own websites. 


Career Opportunities header image

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, apprentices are qualified to work within the recognised trade or profession. 

Where apprentices and craftspersons have the necessary ability, initiative and basic qualifications, opportunities are available for advancement. These include advanced technology courses and management courses which are available in Institutes of Technology, Schools of Management and Professional Institutes.

Many craftspersons use their apprenticeship qualification as a platform to launch careers such as engineers, managers, owners of businesses, teachers and instructors amongst others.


Occupation Profile header image


Progression Routes header image


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Apprentice Motor Mechanic