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 Paul Dowling from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Paul Dowling



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Paul Dowling
Ideally, try and get a job in the industry for a summer, or get a bit of experience before you go into it. You have to be happy with working outside, and doing physical work. If you are not prepared to work hard or are looking for a soft job, don't go into Landscaping. Design is very sexy at the moment, everyone wants to be a designer, a Landscape Designer. It's different on the ground, you have to be out there on sites in all weather and you have to make sure projects are managed well and you're able to muck in with everyone else. Biology is most important for anyone going into Horticulture or Landscaping as it covers propagation and helps with the identification of plant names, species and families through the universal use of Latin. Chemistry is also helpful as the use of various chemicals is a constant in horticulture. The chemical content and dangers of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides in use in Amenity Horticulture needs to be understood anyone going into this business. Geography would be a relevant subject as well. Also, the simple things like having a full, clean driving licence, which can make you a lot more employable if you are trying for a job with a Landscape Conractor. This indicates that you are more mobile and can also drive a company van if needed. Be sure you're happy with the outdoor life. Having taken a Horticulture course will give you an advantage. However, it's possible to take a job first and study later, e.g. in IT Blanchardstown it is possible to study at night. I think you cannot beat doing the Diploma Course in the National Botanic Gardens because it is a good practical course which also covers all the theory and is invaluable for gaining plant knowledge.

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.
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Recruitment of 140 civilian Garda staff announced

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Recruitment of 140 civilian Garda staff announced

Thursday, February 02, 2017 

Recruitment of 140 civilian Garda staff announced

A passing out ceremony for probationer Gardaí took place at the Garda College in Templemore yesterday, at which the recruitment of 140 civilians by summer 2017 was also announced. 

The familiar passing out ceremony for probationer Gardaí took place at the Garda College in Templemore yesterday. 149 new Gardaí graduated from the training college. Around half of these have been allocated to stations in the six divisions of the Dublin metropolitan region.

Civilianisation of An Garda Síochána

A programme to increase civilianisation of the force which aims to free up more Gardaí to work on the streets also got underway.

140 new civilian recruits are to be taken on by the summer 2017. This initial batch will be deployed in the national specialist units, and in desk duties, enabling fully trained Gardaí to be transferred from desk jobs, back to policing duties. An estimated 50 Gardaí will be released.

A further 360 civilians are to be recruited by the end of the year, with an additional 1,500 civilian recruits over the following three years.

Head of civilian staff, Chief Administrative Officer Joe Nugent, said it was a great day for the force. The new staff will also introduce a range of skills and disciplines into the organisation, while freeing up Gardaí. Civilian recruitment will bring in a range of professional skills in areas such as IT, human resources, and finance.

The increase in civilian staff is part of an overall plan to double the number of civilians in the police force from the current level of 2,000 by a target date of 2021.

The role of civilian staff in An Garda Síochána has in the past been largely restricted to that of clerical support. There were very limited options for career progression within the organisation. However, this is changing.

Some 150 new management and supervisory positions have been created at Higher Executive Officer, Executive Officer and Staff Officer level in recent years. The development of a senior civilian management structure is also ongoing. There are a significant number of such posts now in place in areas such as HR, Finance, Procurement, IT, Housing, Transport, Crime & Policing Analysis and Internal Audit. There are now opportunities for civilian staff to build a career within An Garda Síochána across a diverse and exciting range of roles and responsibilities.

How to get a civilian job role in An Garda Síochána

Recruitment of civilian staff to An Garda Síochána is mainly carried out in association with the Public Appointments Service.

Recruitment takes the form of either general civil service open competitions or special competitions for particular professional or senior managerial positions. Details of upcoming recruitment competitions are advertised on the “Current Jobs” page of the Public Appointments Service website which is updated weekly.

Garda Recruitment

Garda strength is to increase from 12,900 to 15,000 by 2021. The Garda Reserve force is also to increase to 2,000 from its current level of just under 800.

Garda recruitment resumed last year, following a five-year moratorium on all recruitment for the public sector. This year, for the first time since the moratorium was introduced in 2009, Garda numbers have increased.

The increase of 100, which brings numbers from 12,800 a year ago, to 12,900, is set to continue to rise as An Garda Síochána plan to recruit a further 800 new members with the first tranche of 200 entering by the end of March.

About 300 Gardaí leave the force annually, largely due to retirement, age or ill health. An annual intake intake of new Garda recruits is necessary to maintain and increase numbers.