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 Donal Kane from Construction Industry Federation to give some advice for people considering this job:

Donal Kane

Plumber / Construction Super.

Construction Industry Federation

Read more

Donal Kane
Once you’re willing to listen, take advice and work hard there are many options for career paths / future development.

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Study Skills
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Entry Requirements

logo imagelogo image
Entry Requirements


The minimum age at which a traditional craft apprentice can commence is sixteen. The age criteria vary for many of the new style apprenticeships. For example, General Insurance Practitioner apprentices, may come from a variety of backgrounds, and therefore from a variety of age groups: 

  • School-leavers: Those who want a degree without going down the university route. These candidates want to get on the career ladder straight away, while not missing out on the academic advantages of a college degree.
  • Graduates who wish to further their education in the insurance sector while gaining valuable workplace experience through a structured programme.
  • Career changers who wish to start a career in insurance.
  • Existing employees in an insurance organisation wishing to advance in their career


  • Grade D in five Junior Certificate exams, or an approved equivalent.


  • If you don’t meet the minimum Junior Cert requirements, you may still be able to register as an apprentice if you successfully complete an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course.


  • You can also be eligible if you are over 16 years old and have three years of relevant work experience, as deemed acceptable by SOLAS. 

Explore apprenticeship types for individual details specific to each.

Note: Some employers prefer higher grades for entry than those suggested by SOLAS for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of particular trades. Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert, including Maths (with at least a grade C3 in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.

SafePass /Manual Handling Certification are also valued by employers in certain sectors.

Employers of new style apprentices may require additional minimum qualifications to those specified by SOLAS for traditional craft apprenticeships.

In the case of the new Insurance Practitioner Apprentice, employment is directly with an insurance company, and must, therefore, meet the particular employer’s specific recruitment criteria, as well as any additional requirements for admission to the apprenticeship programme: 

  • A minimum of 2 honours in the Leaving Certificate or equivalent, with a pass in Mathematics and English/Irish.
  • Minimum 300 CAO points 
  • For students over 23 on 1 January of the year of entry, interviews or other selection tools may be used to assess, replacing the minimum requirements above.

Entrants are advised to check eligibility criteria and entry requirements for different apprenticeship types.


  • Your employer must be approved to train apprentices.
  • Your employer must register you as an apprentice within 2 weeks of recruitment.
In the case of the Insurance Practitioner apprenticeship, for example, only companies who are registered members of the Insurance Institute of Ireland will be approved to take on and train apprentices.