What qualifications are required?
Entry-level or work-experience opportunities are made available by some employers which may not require previous experience or qualifications, and typically training is provided on the job. Job-seekers are encouraged to do their research and show initiative when looking for work this way, and to talk to local employers in the sector to see what is required.
Induction training is typically provided to introduce new employees to their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
All staff working on the shop floor, trade counter, yard or any other part of the business that will require lifting products will be required to complete basic health and safety and manual handling training and will be expected to conduct their role with a level of personal responsibility.
Employees entering into logistics or yard-work may require completed SafePass certification – a one-day safety awareness programme. If you already have this or any other manual handling training in place already this will work more in your favour to secure work experience.
When entering into the supply/manufacturing sectors, depending on the area, more specific training or qualifications may be required, most at QQI level. Any students or job seekers interested in entering into specific sectors are encouraged to talk to their career guidance counsellor.
What are the typical routes into this sector?
There are a number of ways to enter the sector.
For any students interested in getting into the hardware industry we recommend they initially do their research on the facilities and support available from their career guidance counsellors. Transition Year is a helpful time to look for any available work experience in local hardware stores or builders merchants.
Typically employers start out student/entry-level employees in specific areas in stores, like the warehouse or back office, where they can shadow more experience employees in their day-to-day activity. As they start to learn more about the role and their environment they start to receive more responsibilities and experience.
Some merchants and groups offer traineeships and graduate programmes as another route into the sector for new entrants.
Many employers in the supply/manufacturing sector also provide entry-level and graduate-based programmes as a welcoming avenue for anyone seeking an avenue into the sector. Such graduate programmes offer opportunities in all aspects of the business, including Sales/Marketing, Manufacturing, Logistics, Research and Development and more.