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 David Fleming from Defence Forces to give some advice for people considering this job:

David Fleming

Sub Lieutenant - Navy

Defence Forces

Read more

David Fleming
Learn about the Naval Service – look at the website, visit a ship alongside a port when they are open to the public, talk to any friends/family in the Naval Service, ring the Recruiting Office.

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.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Study Skills
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

College is not for everyone

logo imagelogo image

College is not for everyone

Monday, July 31, 2017 

College is not for everyone

The Leaving Certificate results will be released on Wednesday 16th August. The next key event follows on Monday 21st August - the CAO Round 1 offers. But not every Leaving Cert student wants to go on to third-level education after school so what are the alternatives?

New Apprenticeship Options

With the upturn in the economy, there is a renewed focus on apprenticeships and traineeships, and on the expansion of available options into a range of new sectors.

Thirteen new apprenticeship programmes are due to be underway this year across various career sectors. So far, five of these have been introduced: the Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship; Industrial Electrical Engineering Apprenticeship; Manufacturing Technician and Engineering apprenticeships, with the latest addition being, Polymer Processing Technologist for the medical devices industry. Insurance, Financial Services Accountancy and ICT are on the way.

The new apprenticeships follow the same model as the traditional ones, where participants work and have time off to study for a qualification, many now to degree level. Interested school-leavers can register their interest online - find out more here.

Traditional and Craft Apprenticeships

Large companies such as the ESB, Eir and Bus Eireann have continued to recruit apprentices annually. The ESB recruits in March/April each year and hires up 50 apprentice electricians. A number will be given the opportunity to train as electrical engineers. There are also opportunities for HGV Mechanics. 

Eir takes on a number of apprentices each year to learn to maintain and repair equipment throughout the communications network and welcomes applications from school-leavers. A minimum of six passes in the Leaving Cert, including maths, and a driver's licence is required.

Bus Eireann also recruits annually for heavy vehicle mechanic apprentices for various maintenance depots around the country. 

The Construction Sector is thriving again and apprentices are in demand. Last year, CIF launched - a dedicated website for the industry which aims to match interested apprentices with employers in the sector. Find out more here.

Many apprenticeship opportunities are advertised in the period from March - July, so it is important to keep a close eye on relevant websites at this time, but some are open for application now - find out more here

RACE - The Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE), based in Co Kildare, offers training for careers in the equestrian industry. Courses include Jockey and trainer, stable hand and management as well as farrier training. The trainee jockey course is a 42-week residential programme and allows graduates to become apprentice jockeys. It is recognised by QQI as a Level 4 award. The assistant trainer course will allow graduates to obtain an assistant trainer's licence and progress towards a full trainer's licence in addition to FETAC Level 5 award. RACE holds open days around March each year.

The Defence Forces

The Irish Air Corps is currently accepting applications for the Apprentice Military Aircraft Technician scheme and be part of the Air Corps maintenance team providing technical support to the Air Corps fleet. You can graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Military Aviation Technology Level 7 (Tech), accredited by the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). The closing date for this competition 23.59Hrs on August 10th, 2017. Applicants must be not less than 18 years of age and under 23 years of age on the closing date.

The Naval Service and the Irish Army have also started recruiting regularly again and recruitment is likely to take place annually for the next few years. 

An Garda Síochána opened applications for Garda Trainees in May this year and has recruited for around 100 trainees in each of the past 3 years. It is likely that there will be another recruitment intake in 2018.

State Training

Teagasc offers a range of courses to school-leavers and mature students in the area of horticulture, equine, agriculture, food and forestry. Courses are available all over the country, in agricultural colleges as well as other centres, at a variety of different levels. Many of the courses available qualify graduates to take advantage of the stamp-duty exemption for young trained farmers. Those interested in a career in these industries can find more information on where they can also download application forms. Admission is based on an entrance exam which generally takes place in May. 

For those interested in a career at sea, BIM - Bord Iascaigh Mhara offer modular training through FETAC accredited vocational training courses with training places available across the seagoing, aquaculture and shore based sectors. BIM also provides training for deck and engineer certificates of competency in addition to other mandatory qualifications. Find out more here.

Other Opportunities

Accountancy offers yet another pathway into a professional career without the worry of CAO! There are five main professional routes to choose from, with recruitment ongoing for some -  Find out more here.

To keep in touch with news of these and other opportunities as they arise, check out the news feed on and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The CareersPortal Team