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 MacDonald from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elaine MacDonald

Psychologist - Clinical

St. Michael's House

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Elaine MacDonald

Make sure you are willing to go the full distance in terms of the time needed to train as a Clinical Psychologist – it’s typically at least six years academic study, and invariably this period is interspersed with work in a relevant field.

Do be as confident as you can that you’re happy being a “listener” and “observer”, as you will spend significant amounts of time in your work life as a Clinical Psychologist being in this role, as well as being in the “do-er” role and being in the limelight.

To have a good ‘fit’ with this career you’ll need to be happy working with people – as individuals on a one to one basis, with groups (e.g. families), and as part of a team in the workplace.

You need to have a good attention to detail as the job needs good observation skills, record keeping, and organisation skills.

Be prepared for learning and self-development to be on-going for the whole of your career because, as a Clinical Psychologist, you’ll be learning and using techniques and intervention approaches that are being constantly developed, and be working in accordance with policies and laws that are also constantly evolving.

The last piece of advice I’d give to someone considering this job is to be as sure as you can that you feel comfortable and even excited at the prospect of your career revolving around people and groups with all the varied, diverse, and unpredictable rewards and challenges that this brings!


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New Dáil apprenticeship scheme under consideration

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New Dáil apprenticeship scheme under consideration

Monday, July 17, 2017 

New Dáil apprenticeship scheme under consideration

Proposals for a new Dáil apprenticeship scheme are being examined. The innovative new plan to operate the first ever Dáil apprenticeship scheme is being considered by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Deputy Thomas Byrne TD who proposed the scheme, said the Oireachtas could offer apprenticeships in the areas of parliamentary affairs, public administration and political communications.

“The Dáil and Seanad Éireann will provide a unique and specialised learning environment for any person wishing to pursue a career in public service or politics. “The Apprenticeship Council has called for ideas for new training initiatives, and an opportunity exists for non-graduates, of all ages, to work with TDs, Senators, political parties, and House of the Oireachtas staff.

“I have been informed by the Ceann Comhairle that the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission is considering the proposal, and several commission members have told me they support the initiative. An apprenticeship scheme in the Oireachtas will not only widen opportunities for people wishing to pursue alternative apprenticeships, it also opens up a new pool of potential talent, which up until now has remained untapped.

“Solas and the Apprenticeship Council are open to this idea, and opportunities need to be developed for people who would like to work in Leinster House, but don’t have a third-level qualification. “An apprenticeship programme for positions in the Houses of the Oireachtas would have a transformative effect. It will open up access to people who are currently under-represented in the two Houses, and it will boost the prestige of the apprenticeship system itself.

“The new parliamentary apprenticeships would be developed in partnership with a recognised third-level institution, and validated by Quality and Qualifications Ireland.

“The Houses of Parliament in Britain already run apprenticeship and placements that offer practical on-the-job training. We should be doing the same in Ireland by providing access to people who don’t have a relevant degree, or political connections, to work in the Dáil and Seanad, thus enabling them to pursue further education or career progression in public affairs.”

About apprenticeship in Ireland

There are currently 27 craft apprenticeships in Ireland, in areas such as construction, engineering and the motor sector. Other countries have a much broader tradition of apprenticeship. Germany has over 300 apprenticeships, across a wide range of sectors.

The second call for more apprenticeship proposals was launched by the Government in May 2017. The closing date for new Apprenticeship Proposals is 1st September 2017.

The CareersPortal Team