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 Elaine McGarrigle from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elaine McGarrigle

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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Elaine McGarrigle

The most important skill that a person in my position can have is communication.

One needs to be able to communicate effectively with people of all levels in order to do a days work. I think that this is the most important quality, to be able to fit in well with people, everyone from the operators to the senior management, one needs to be able to read them and how best to communicate with them.

An interest in basic engineering and in the heavy machine industry.

It is important to realise that working as a mechanical engineer in Irish Cement does not generally involve sitting at your desk all day. It involves alot of hands on, on-site work so a person needs to be prepared to get their hands dirty.

Another quality that is important is to be willing to learn. Even after a number of years in college, one needs to be eager to learn the ins and outs of a new environment; how cement is made, what equipment is involved, what generally goes wrong and how it is fixed.

Everyone will help and teach you but you need to open your mind and be prepared to take it all in.


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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CPA Accounts Executive Traineeship

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CPA Accounts Executive Traineeship

Tuesday, April 05, 2016 

CPA Accounts Executive Traineeship

An alternative to CAO for Ambitious School Leavers

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland) in partnership with Longford and Westmeath Education and Training Board (LWETB) and Cenit College launched an exciting initiative in third level education for school leavers, which provides an alternative to the CAO system for those seeking to pursue a career in accountancy.

The CPA Accounts Executive Traineeship is a one-year full time academic programme followed by a three-month training contract, in an accounting practice or an accounts department, for ambitious school leavers wishing to pursue a career as a professional accountant. On completion, students can progress to further accounting studies with CPA Ireland on a part-time basis, supplemented by three years supervised, practical training in a work environment in order to become a fully qualified accountant.

Recent research by the Irish League of Credit Unions has shown that 90% of parents with children intending to go to third level education are worried about the associated costs. However, the CPA Accounts Executive Traineeship programme is the first of its kind – a fully funded direct route into a career in accountancy for students who are, perhaps due to financial or logistical reasons, unable to attend higher education to complete a primary business or accounting qualification.The programme kicked off in September 2015 and the pilot class will take up their guaranteed three month work placements in September 2016.

The programme will be rolled out on a national scale in September 2016.

This innovation in professional accounting education was developed to provide an opportunity for anyone who has the ambition and commitment to become a professional accountant, regardless of financial or logistical limitations, an alternative to the CAO route. There is no requirement to have studied accountancy for the Leaving Certificate.

This programme will also ensure continuity in the availability of qualified accounting professionals to meet the needs of accountancy practices, SMEs and international companies wishing to base their finance teams in Ireland. Over the last 4 years, CPA have experienced 100% employment among their newly qualifieds.

Eamonn Siggins, Chief Executive of CPA Ireland explains how the Institute is expanding the options open to those who opt for a world of work over college by offering a more experiential model of training with this programme.

“Historically training in accountancy was conducted through a combination of study and work placement, and we are moving back towards that model. On completion of the one year programme, and three month work placement, students can progress to further accounting studies with CPA Ireland on a part-time basis in order to complete their professional accountancy qualification. One of the great benefits of studying to become a qualified CPA accountant is that you can do so while continuing to work fulltime and earn an income.”

Students will be eligible for this programme on attainment of specific Leaving Certificate requirements and an interview to ensure that they possess the aptitude and suitability for the CPA Accounts Executive Traineeship.

The academic element of this programme incorporates CPA approved professional tuition for the first level of the CPA qualification leading to a Certificate in Business and Accounting on completion. Significantly the course will also include a comprehensive IT and data mining and modelling module. In addition to training and accreditation for Sage Line 50, students will also cover an introduction to tax and a module on business communication skills, in order to prepare them effectively for the world of work. The training element of this programme then takes place in an accountancy practice or a business related organisation thereby giving the student an opportunity to gain applied experience in the world of accounting and business.

For more information contact Ciara Murphy,

Click here to downlaod brochure.

The CareersPortal Team