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 Colm Hofler from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Colm Hofler

Chemical Engineer

CRH plc

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Colm Hofler
Within the building materials industry there are opportunities for people with very different backgrounds.
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Realist?
Realist
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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Supported Routes to College

Supported access routes to college are about raising third level participation rates among people from under-represented groups.

Two such initiatives for school-leavers who are applying to college through the CAO system are DARE and HEAR.

DARE is the disability access route to third level. It is a college and university admissions scheme which offers places on a reduced points basis to school leavers under 23 years old with a disability.

Full details of DARE.

HEAR is an admissions route into college for school leavers who, for social, financial or cultural reasons, are under-represented in third level education. Colleges participating in the scheme set aside a quota of places with reduced points and make these available to eligible students.

Full details of HEAR.

ACCESS Programmes and Courses

For school leavers or other people who can't get to third level by the traditional routes, many Universities and Institutes of Technology across the country offer an ACCESS course or programme of some kind. Those who successfully complete an ACCESS programme may then be able to apply to the college for a place on a third level degree course.

ACCESS courses aim to provide participating students with the skills and knowledge needed for undertaking a full-time third level course and to make the whole process of transition to third level much easier. They also help students to identify and choose the third level course that is best suited to their particular interests and abilities.

An ACCESS Course is typically designed for people whose background education was limited by socio-economic circumstance and educational disadvantage and to support them in overcoming these barriers and succeeding at third level education.