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 Lynsey Gargan from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:

Lynsey Gargan

Manufacturing Engineer

STEPS

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Lynsey Gargan
With regard to education I say don't worry if you think you have the wrong subjects in school. I certainly didn't have the subjects you would typically expect.

There are a number of courses that cater to different backgrounds. The most important thing is to do your research. Go to open days, talk to the colleges and generally just find out what exactly you would be getting in to.

Don't just take for granted you know what a certain course or career is all about. Think about what you like to do, and not just necessarily in school, if you find yourself being curious about how things work or how thing are made, it's a good indication that you could like something like engineering.

One of the best things about engineering is that it really can be your passport to the world. There are great travel opportunities within the industry and chances to be involved in the next big thing.

Practically every man-made product around you came from a manufacturing plant, it's a huge industry with a lot of different avenues to take. Innovation is a really big part of what engineers do. The desire to be creative and improve production and processes is an important attribute for a manufacturing engineer.
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Realist?
Realist
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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Apprenticeships

 

Craft Apprenticeships

Craft apprenticeships train you for becoming a recognised craftsperson in Ireland. You work for an employer while at the same time learning the skills and gaining the knowledge you need to qualify in your chosen trade.

Commonly known as 'learning a trade', apprenticeships have always been an attractive career path. Candidates earn a wage during their instruction period and complete blocks of modular training over a period of time appropriate to the skills that must be acquired. Apprenticeship qualifications are mobile throughout the world. 

Craft apprenticeships are generally made-up of seven phases over a period of four years. Three phases are 'off-the-job' and four are 'on-the-job'. [See Apprenticeship Training for general details]

Apprentices are paid throughout their training both 'on-the-job' and 'off-the-job' [See Pay & Fees]. Some employers will even pay accommodation costs for apprentices whilst in training.

Apprenticeship is a great way to get onto the career ladder, earn money, get experience, as well as a qualification up to Level 6 or beyond on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). [See Becoming an Apprentice for information on getting started.]

Video: Meet Ireland's Apprentices and find out more about WorldSkills, Brazil 2017

Did you know ...

Many Irish apprentices compete strongly in the Ireland Skills competition each year, going on to represent their country in the World Skills Competition, winning medals for the skills they have learnt. World Skills is effectively the Olympic Games for apprentices.

Current Craft Apprenticeships

To become an apprentice in one of the craft trades marked* you must pass a colour–vision test approved by SOLAS ( the Ishihara Colour Vision Test - 24 Plate Edition).

See Apprenticeship Types for a detailed description of each role.

Did you know ...

There's a Bursary for Women Apprentices!

Apprenticeship provides opportunities for women to broaden their career options into new and non-traditional areas of work. To promote this, a special bursary is offered to employers to encourage the recruitment of female apprentices in certain sectors.Contact the apprenticeship section in your local ETB or Click here for details.