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 Andrew Dunne from Irish Tax Institute to give some advice for people considering this job:

Andrew Dunne

Senior Tax Manager

Irish Tax Institute

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Andrew Dunne
This is a great career for challenging and strategic work, and also allows you a great opportunity to travel if that interests you.

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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Labour Market Sector Profiles

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Healthcare Occupations

Employment in healthcare occupations makes up 5% of Ireland’s workforce, around 100,000 persons, of which 52,000 are nurses and midwives.

Overall employment in the area did not grow noticeably between 2011 and 2016. But there was growth in certain professions, including therapy professionals and health associate professionals, a category that includes roles such as paramedics, dental hygienists and pharmaceutical technicians. Both these categories expanded by over 6%. 

Data from National Skills Bulletin, 2017. SOLAS Skills and Labour Market Research Unit Figure 1: Data from National Skills Bulletin, 2017. SOLAS Skills and Labour Market Research Unit.

Demand for medical practitioners has been largely stable and this will likely continue into the future, as the  pressures of an aging population and demand for skilled healthcare professionals internationally will ensure continued opportunities for trained professionals in Ireland.


Following from the National Skills Bulletin, 2017.
Key points for selected healthcare occupations

  • In 2016, there were approximately 100,000 persons employed in healthcare occupations, representing 5% of Ireland’s workforce
  • Almost 87% of overall employment was at professional level (approximately 87,000 persons)
  • There were 52,000 employed nurses and midwives, accounting for almost half of overall employment in healthcare occupations;
  • Over the period 2011 to 2016, overall employment levels in the selected occupations remained relatively static; however, employment growth was observed particularly for health associate professionals (6.2% on average annually) and occupational and other therapy professionals (6.4% on average annually); in contrast, average annual employment rates contracted for medical practitioners (2.5%), physiotherapists (2.3%), and nurses and midwifes (1.8%)
  • Between 2015 and 2016, overall employment declined by 3.3% (or 3,400 persons in absolute terms); employment levels remained relatively static for most occupations with the largest absolute decline for nurses and midwifes of 3,600 net jobs
  • Four fifths of those employed in healthcare occupations was aged 25-54; almost one quarter of occupational and other therapy professionals was 55 years or older; the share of mature workers was almost one fifth for pharmacists, other healthcare professionals, and nurses and midwives 
  • Almost 95% of employed healthcare professionals had attained third level qualifications; the share was 74% for associate professionals
  • While most persons employed in healthcare occupations were female, employment of medical practitioners was gender balanced
  • Occupational and other therapy professionals had the highest share of persons in healthcare occupations working part-time, at over one third
  • Almost 30% of employed medical practitioners were non-Irish nationals, while the average share for the selected healthcare occupations was close to the national average (14% compared to 15%).

Shortage Indicators

Recruitment in the health sector is driven primarily by government policy and funding. Overall employment numbers are unchanged compared to 2011. Despite this lack of growth, there is evidence of a significant demand for healthcare professionals.

Healthcare professionals (and in particular nurses and doctors) account for a relatively high share of persons hired in 2016. Most recruitment occurred due to replacement demand (with approximately 3,000 exits to inactivity recorded for the selected occupations). Frequent movement of doctors and nurses between employers is also evident, with over 2,000 intra-occupational transitions identified for medical practitioners and a further 3,800 for nurses. A large number of skilled personnel were sourced from outside the EU with over 2,100 new employment permits issued. The number of job ready job seekers previously employed in these occupations was negligible. In 2015 there were over 4,000 third level graduates (levels 8-10).

Demand for healthcare professionals is expected to persist, with demand increasing due to an aging population as well as international competition to attract the skills and talent to the sector.

Shortages have been identified for the following occupations:

  • medical practitioners: (especially locum and non-consultant hospital doctors, registrars and medical specialists (e.g. general and emergency medicine, oncology, psychiatry, orthopaedic, anaesthetists, paediatricians))
  • nurses: advanced nursing practitioners (e.g. intensive care, operating theatre, theatre nurse managers), registered nurses (e.g. general nurse, cardiovascular care, elder persons’ care, paediatric, oncology, intellectual disability care, fertility) and clinical nurse managers
  • radiographers: (clinical specialists; MRI and CT radiographers)niche area specialists (audiologists, cardiac technician, dieticians).
  • niche area specialists: (audiologists, cardiac technician, dieticians).

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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