What qualifications are required?
Entry into the construction sector is possible at all levels. General operatives join the industry with no experience but through working with others and on various projects, they gain skills informally and can progress to supervisory roles.
General Operative (GO) trainee programmes are now available through Education and Training Boards (ETB's) around the country. For example colleges such as Ballyfermot Training Centre now offer short courses in areas such as Steel Fixing, Form Work, Flooring and GO training. Courses in other ETB's include Glazing and Roofing. These traineeships could be up to 18 months in duration.
To check out all the ETBs around the country click here.
The Mount Lucas National Construction Training Centre specialises in Construction Plant training and non-craft Training.
The Centre, located in Daingean, Co. Offaly is designed to train, develop and upskill the competencies for both construction machine operators and operatives that will enable trainees to develop a career within the construction industry.
The current programmes on offer at Mount Lucas include:
- Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Programmes (New Entrants & Experienced Operators)
- UK Changeover Programme (Irish CSCS operators card recognition to UK CPCS Operators card)
- HS&E Test Centre (UK equivilent of Irish Safe Pass card)
- Construction Skills Traineeship (Form work & Steel fixing)
Full details of all courses can be found here.
Apprentices must meet minumum entry requirements set down by SOLAS (minimum of 5 grade D in the Junior certificate) - POTENTIAL APPLICANTS TO ELECTRICAL TRADE BE WARNED! - MOST EMPLOYERS IN THIS SECTOR WILL ONLY ACCEPT APPRENTICES WHO HAVE COMPLETED THEIR LEAVING CERTIFICATE AND A MINIMUM OF PASS MATHS AND PREFERABLY INCLUDING PHYSICS.
School leavers wishing to qualify as engineers / surveyors should check with their chosen college to ascertain the entry requirements. New entrants to the construction sector arrive from a variety of backgrounds and have a range of prior formal qualifications, such as Leaving Certificate or equivalent.
Third Level Qualifications
Degrees in all disciplines are welcomed for those wishing to work in the construction sector. There is always a requirement for highly skilled graduates. Many of those working in the sector will have come from a range of academic backgrounds such as:
- Social sciences
- Business studies
- Health and Safety
- Accounting etc.
Life long learning is an important aspect to continuing progression within the sector.
All workers in the industry must have completed Safe Pass.
What are the typical routes into this sector?
New entrants arrive in the sector from various educational and training routes. The most traditional entry routes would be from schools or colleges.
Students may also pursue apprenticeships which involve a combination of working with a company and studying in a third level institution.
Traineeships are also available from ETBs around the country, these couses can be up to 18 months in duration and cover many areas such as steel fixing, welding, roofing, flooring, glazing and general operative (GO).