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 Marie O'Donovan from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Marie O'Donovan

Environmental Officer

CRH plc

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Marie O'Donovan

You should possibly consider studying environmental science or environmental engineering in third level.

You would also need to consider if you would like do quite a bit of driving during your day and to be able to oragnise your own work plans as both these things are important.


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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Healthcare Occupations

Key points for selected healthcare occupations

  • In 2015, there were approximately 103,000 persons employed in healthcare occupations, representing 5.3% of Ireland’s workforce.
  • Almost 90% of overall employment was at professional level (approximately 91,000 persons).
  • There were 55,000 employed nurses and midwives, accounting for half of overall employment in healthcare occupations; this was the largest professional workforce nationally and the fourth largest nationally, after sales assistants, farmers, care workers (home and other).
  • Between 2014 and 2015, overall employment expanded by 1%, below the national average rate of 2.6%; employment levels remainded relatively static for most occupations.
  • 80% of those employed in healthcare occupations were aged 25-54; 20% of other healthcare professionals in employment were 55 years or older; the share of mature workers was almost 20% for both medical practitioners and nurses and midwives.
  • Over 90% of employed healthcare professionals had attained third level qualifications; the share was just over 70% for associate professionals.
  • While most persons employed in healthcare occupations were female, employment of medical practitioners was gender balanced.
  • Physiotherapists had the highest share of persons in healthcare occupations working part-time, at just over one third.
  • 25% of employed medical practitioners were non-Irish nationals, above the national average share of 15%.

Shortage Indicators

Despite the recent removal of the recruitment ban in publicly funded healthcare, lower than average growth in employment is expected in publicly funded services, including health in light of the requirements for further fiscal consolidation. Employment growth is expected to be a fraction of the total recruitment requirement which will mostly be driven by the replacement demand. Exits to inactivity are estimated at 1,900 for nurses and 1,500 for other healthcare professionals and associate professionals. As a result, the total annual recruitment requirement for healthcare professionals and associate professionals is estimated at over 4,000 annually, just over half of which is for nurses.

Previously imposed recruitment controls in relation to permanent employment contracts in the publicly funded healthcare sector resulted in frequent movements of doctors and nurses between employers, which were still visible in 2015: 2,000 intra-occupational transitions were identified for medical practitioners and 4,000 for nurses.

The removal of the recruitment ban should result in less intra occupational movement (excluding standard hospital rotations during training). Ireland, as is the case with most developed countries, suffers from an acute shortage of doctors.

The number of unemployed qualified healthcare workers is negligible while reliance on importing healthcare skills has been an important part of HR practices: in 2015, over 1,500 employment permits were issued to non-EEA doctors and a further 282 to nurses/midwives.

Shortages continue to persist for the following occupations:

  • Medical practitioners (especially locum and non-consultant hospital doctors, registrars and medical specialists (e.g. general and emergency medicine, anaesthetists, paediatricians, consultant radiologists))
  • Nurses – advanced nursing practitioners (e.g. intensive care, operation theatre, theatre nurse managers), registered nurses (e.g. general nurse, cardiovascular care, elder persons’ care, children’s care; intellectual disability care, mental health care) and clinical nurses
  • Radiographers (clinical specialists; MRI and CT radiographers)
  • Niche area specialists (radiation therapists, audiologists, prosthetists, orthotists, cardio-technician)
  • Health service managers;
  • Nursing home directors

Labour Market Research 24

These links are to well established sources of information used to review, evaluate and predict changes in our labour market.

Vacancy Overview 2016 - EGFSN 
Detailed analysis of labour market indicators, vacancy trends and difficult to fill vacancies from the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (May 2017)
Addressing the Demand for Skills in the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics Sector in Ireland 2015 2020 
February 2015 EGFSN report assessing the skills and competency requirements for the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics sector in Ireland up to 2020
Vacancy Overview 2014 - EFGSN 
The Vacancy Overview 2014 produced May 2015 by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit in SOLAS on behalf of the EGFSN, draws on data from newly advertised job vacancies in the following sources: DSP Jobs Ireland and The analysis focuses
Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply 
July 2015 report on those entering and leaving the Irish education system (primary, post-primary,further education and training, and higher education) spanning the ten levels of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)
Regional Labour Markets Bulletin 2015 
Annual report produced by the EGFSN which identifies variations in skills supply and demand across 8 regions (Border, Dublin, Mid East, Mid-West, Midland, South East, South West and West).
Assessment of Future Skills Requirements in the Hospitality Sector in Ireland 2015-2020 
Report from the EGFSN assessing the skills demand within the Hospitality sector in Ireland to 2020 to ensure the right supply of skills to help drive domestic hospitality sector business and employment growth.
Vacancy Overview 2015 - EGFSN May 2016 
A report produced by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS for the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs contextualising 2015 vacancy data with what is occurring in the Irish labour market
Future Skills Needs of the Biopharma Industry in Ireland August 2016 
This report reviews the supply of, and demand for, skills within the Biopharma Industry in Ireland up to 2020, with a specific focus on Biologics manufacturing as a growing sub-sector within the industry. It is estimated that 8,400 potential job openings
Regional Labour Markets Bulletin October 2016 
A Report prepared by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit in SOLAS.
Trends in Education and Training Outputs 
Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply - A report by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS for the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs November 2016
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Current Labour Market Info 4

These sites provide news of current events that relate to our evolving labour market.

IBEC Quarterly Economic Trends 
Download publication in PDF format.
SCSI Employment Opportunities & Skills Requirements for Construction and Property Surveying 2014-18 
New report April 2014 from SCSI outlining the Employment Opportunities and Skills Requirements for Construction and Property Surveying projected from 2014-2018
Shortage of craft/entry level staff in the Hotel Sector 
Hotels and guesthouses are experiencing serious difficulties recruiting suitably qualified craft/entry level staff - IHF Annual Conference 24/2/14
National Skills Bulletin 2015 
The National Skills Bulletin 2015 provides an overview of the Irish labour market at occupational level, drawing on a variety of data sets, which have been systematically gathered in the National Skills Database (NSD) since 2003.

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