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.

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The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Report shows PLC courses offer a real route to success

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Report shows PLC courses offer a real route to success


Wednesday, January 10, 2018 




Report shows PLC courses offer a real route to success

The Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D., announced and responded to the publication of an independent evaluation of the Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) programme.

The report, which was carried out by the ESRI (The Economic and Social Research Institute) and was in response to a recent report on PLC programme provision, published by SOLAS, confirms the positive role played by PLC provision.

It highlights that PLC learners are 16% more likely to be in employment than if they had just entered the labour market straight after the Leaving Certificate. Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses represent the largest component of full-time further education and training (FET) provision in Ireland, with over 32,000 learners enrolled in such courses in 2015–2016 and which receives an investment of over 160 Million each year.

The study findings point to the positive role played by PLC provision in providing educational opportunities for a diverse group of learners and in enhancing their access to employment and higher education.

Employment outcomes among learners reports that on completing their courses, just over one-third of leavers entered employment, with approximately 28 per cent progressing to higher education, 19 per cent remaining in further education, and 12 per cent becoming unemployed.

The report also highlights several challenges for policy development in the PLC sector indicating a need for greater responsiveness of job-specific PLC courses to changing labour market conditions in terms of the types of courses offered and closer links with employers, as well as enhanced guidance for learners and extra training for teaching staff.

The findings from the evaluation have been considered and the Minister and SOLAS have committed to implementing over 40 recommendations in response, including:

  • Allocating 500 PLC places nationally to new ‘pre-apprenticeship’ courses.
  • Ensuring that in future all courses will lead to Full/Major awards at NFQ Level 5 or NFQ Level 6 or equivalent.
  • Providing more flexibility for students. Providers are to be required to offer PLC outside of the full-time mode of delivery and to provide more flexibility e.g. distance, blended and on-line modes of delivery to be available to learners.
  • More co-ordination at a local level on provision, led by ETBs.
  • Employer engagement to become mandatory for new course proposals for job-specific/sector specific provision.

A PLC Programme Improvement Advisory Committee comprised of PLC partners and led by SOLAS will now be established to implement a programme improvement plan over the course of a three-year period.

To research PLC courses and possible progression routes to Higher Education go directly to our CourseFinder which can be found here.

Full Evaluation Report can be viewed here here.

SOLAS response to the findings of the report is available here.

 

The CareersPortal Team