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 John Traynor from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

John Traynor

Development Analyst

CRH plc

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John Traynor
This is a job that you must be really interested in to succeed in. At times the hours can be very long and the work can be very challenging. You must be prepared to put up with the hard work in order to get the real experience and career progress that the job can offer you. If you are not really interested in this work you will be letting yourself and your colleagues down.

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Becoming an Apprentice

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Becoming an Apprentice

To start any apprenticeship you must first be employed by an approved employer. 


Start by doing some research and make sure you fully understand what's involved in an apprenticeship.

  • Spend time thinking about what industry you would like to work in and narrow down your options.
  • Check out the type of work being done in the apprenticeship areas of interest to you [See Apprenticeship Videos].
  • Be sure to see the work first hand - ask employers, qualified craftspeople or other apprentices to help you out with finding out more.
  • Find out about the potential career opportunities available in the apprenticeship area.
  • Get the advice of your parents/guardians and career guidance counsellor.

Find an employer

  • Investigate apprentice job opportunities with local employers.
  • Look for apprentice job advertisements in local and national newspapers - many large organisations advertise their apprentice vacancies.
  • Use the internet to find out about opportunities - [check out Apprenticeship Vacancies]
  • Locate companies in your desired field and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to learn more about the company and any opportunities as they become available.
  • Register for notifications about upcoming apprenticeship opportunities on relevant websites such as or or IFSapprenticeships
  • Inform your local Employment Office of your interest in an apprenticeship so that your details can be made available on request to potential employers.


To start an apprenticeship, you must first be employed by an approved employer. Your employer must then register you within a fixed period of time from your date of commencement.


To be eligible for employment as an apprentice, you must be at least 16 years of age and have a minimum of grade D in any five subjects in the Junior Certificate or equivalent. Be aware,  higher educational qualifications and other requirements may be sought by individual employers. [See Apprenticeship Types for individual eligibility requirements].

In a nutshell ...

  • Find employment as an apprentice in your chosen occupation.
  • Your employer must be approved to train apprentices.
  • Your employer must register you as an apprentice within 2 weeks of recruitment.
  • You must meet the stated Educational Requirements [and Colour Blindness Test where relevant].

Who might be suited to an Apprenticeship?

There is no ideal person - the following are good indicators:

  • Aged between 16-24 and trying to decide what employment sector suits you
  • Interested in developing a particular skill or technical knowledge
  • Enthusiastic and keen to learn
  • Passionate about working in the apprenticeship area
What Employers Want
  • A quick learner, a good listener and someone who can effectively implement the training they receive.
  • Reliability is very important - employers need their apprentices to show up for work and to be on time, to work hard and be focused on the job.
  • The best apprentices are good problem solvers - during the day, minor problems can arise and companies need employees who can think on their feet and not always rely on others for help.

What will help?

  • Having done work experience placements during your school programme will help when trying to get into an apprenticeship. Employers like to know that you have some understanding of the workplace and the practical realities of daily work life.
Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, (e.g. electrician) due to the technical nature of the trade. Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade C3 in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.

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