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 Aidan Maher from Construction Industry Federation to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Aidan Maher

Site Manager - Grad Entry

Construction Industry Federation

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  Aidan Maher
Try gain experience in some area of construction if possible to see if it’s for you. If you’re interested in a 9-5 job this is not for you!

If you like meeting with new people each day and dealing with issues which they may have regarding the project this is a good job for you. If you like to take charge of situations then this is also a good role for you to take on.
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Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Wood Manufacturing / Finisher
In Summary header image

Wood Manufacturing / Finisher

The Wood Manufacturer and Finisher cuts, shapes and joins wood and wood based products using wood working machines, power tools and hand tools to manufacture furniture and construction components, e.g. tables, chairs, doors and stairs.



Video: Margaret Reilly, Grand Designs Kitchens & Bedrooms

Wood Manufacturer and Finishers require many skills including:
  • Working with a variety of specialised hand and power tools
  • Knowledge of setting out, production and assembly of furniture and construction components
  • Knowledge of a CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufaturing) software for CNC (Computer Numerical Control) programming
  • Performing craft calculations and selecting materials to meet design requirements
  • Interpreting technical drawings and specifications
  • Planning and organising work schedules
  • Liaising with other professions and clients
  • Performing routine maintenance and repairs on machines
The environment is often noisy and involves the use of equipment and machinery so due care and adherence to Health and Safety regulations is mandatory.

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 (21 weeks)
Course Content:
  • Induction
  • Conversion of pre-sawn timber and hand tools
  • Furniture, Veneering and Jig Making
  • Profile Sanding
  • Carcass manufacture and CNC (Computer Numerical Control)
Phase 3: With Employer
Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 4: Delivered in Educational Colleges (10 weeks)
Course Content:
  • CNC programming and use
  • Construction products
  • Furniture products
Phase 5: With Employer
Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 6: Delivered in Educational Colleges (10 weeks)
Course Content:
  • Furniture technology
  • Stair construction and CNC
  • Machine Technology
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 Certificate Craft – Wood Manufacturing and Finishing.


Personal Qualities header image

As a Wood Manufacturer and Finisher 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 and an eye for the aesthetic.

The Wood Manufacturer and Finisher 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


Work Activities header image

  • Learning and developing new practical craft-related skills, knowledge and competence
  • Working with and learning from experienced craftspersons
  • Seeing a job through from start to finish
  • Comply with Health and Safety requirements
  • Understanding technical drawings and diagrams
  • Working with wood and wood based products
  • Working with hand tools and power tools
  • Operating, controlling and adjusting equipment / machines
  • Accuracy with numbers in counting, measuring and arithmetic
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Being well organised and careful with practical tasks
  • Working in a workshop or factory
  • Lifting or carrying heavy items
  • Comply with Health and Safety requirements
  • Being physically active
  • Taking responsibility for own learning, including the allocation of study time
  • Passing all your phase exams (theory, practicals, skill 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 fi ve 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:

  • Technical Drawing/Graphics
  • Construction Studies
  • Materials Technology
  • Mathematics
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.
Are you interested in a construction apprenticeship?
If so, register your interest by creating an account and uploading a short personal profile via this link.


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.

As a woodturner you will the opportunity to start your own business, for example a joinery shop.


Occupation Profile header image

Information to follow...


Progression Routes header image

Information to follow...


Occupation Data

Woodturner / Woodmachinist

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