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 Mary McCaughey from EU Careers to give some advice for people considering this job:

Mary McCaughey

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EU Careers

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Mary McCaughey
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The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship Kicks Off Year 2 with 85 New Apprentices

Over 1,500 registered their interest in the 2017 programme

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship, Ireland’s first level-8-degree apprenticeship, kicked off its second-year last week, with 85 new apprentices from all across the country, beginning the three year ‘earn and learn’ programme.

First launched in 2016, The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is helping to reshape the landscape of apprenticeships in Ireland as it enables apprentices to work for an insurance employer, while also studying for a BA Hons in Insurance Practice.

The programme is run in partnership with IT Sligo, and while only in its second-year has garnered much attention and places are in high demand. The Insurance Institute received over 1,500 registrations of interest in the 2017 programme, with candidates evenly spilt across graduates, career changers, and school leavers.

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is completely unique, as apprentices gain real life on the job experience, while also working towards a third-level qualification.

For more information on the programme visit

Commenting on the beginning of the second year of the programme, Sandra Harvey Graham, Apprenticeship Programme Manager, The Insurance Institute, said:

“We are thrilled with the success of the apprenticeship programme to date, while only in its infancy it has grown by 20% since its first year and impressively holds the record for the largest intake at any one time of apprentices, to any course or programme in the country. We want to see this success continue, and remain at the forefront of what modern apprenticeships look like in Ireland.”

“At The Insurance Institute, we are passionate about lifelong learning, and we developed The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship not only to respond to the needs of the insurance industry but because we wanted to create something sustainable which would modernise insurance as a career.”

“The programme has been a game changer, not only has it taken great steps towards future proofing talent acquisition within the insurance industry but it also offers young people a real and affordable alternative to third level education. Combine all of this with the industry’s ability to provide local jobs, to local people throughout the country, I feel that we have been able to revitalise insurance as a career option.”

Dr. Michael Barrett, Head of School of Business & Social Sciences, IT Sligo commented:

“IT Sligo is proud to be the academic partner in the development of this programme along with The Insurance Institute. Enabling students to realise their full potential is a core mission of ours here in Sligo, and we look forward to watching the careers of this new intake of apprentices flourish over the coming years.”

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship was first launched in September 2016, and was Ireland's first, earn and learn honours degree programme. The Government funded apprenticeship (students pay only €600 in registration fees annually) is run in partnership with IT Sligo and for the first time this year, the Life Insurance Association (LIA). Apprentices complete the degree portion online through distance learning over three years. The minimum entry requirements include two honours in higher level subjects in the Leaving Cert and a pass in four additional subjects including English/Irish and Maths. Alternatively, if applicants are over 23, interviews or other selection tools may be used.

About the Insurance Institute

The Insurance Institute is the leading provider of professional education and continuing professional development for the insurance sector in Ireland. Our core purpose is to expand and enhance the industry’s knowledge base, in-tune with both member and industry needs. With over 17,500 members nationwide, we ensure that members have access to support services, insurance communities and peer-to-peer networking opportunities, regardless of geography.

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