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.

The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Community Education - (1)

Community Education works with adults who wish to return to or continue their education, offering a learner-centred approach involving personal supports and tuition leading to positive personal, social and economic outcomes.

It focusses its work on people who are distant from education, training and the labour market, and is generally developed in local community projects and centres. It starts from the person’s current situation and you are encouraged to work together in creative and participative ways to set and achieve goals such as employment, personal and social change, formal certification up to Level 8, and community activity.

Who delivers Community Education?

Community Education is delivered all over Ireland by a range of providers including Education and Training Boards and independently managed not for profit groups. It takes place in a wide variety of community projects, resource centres, voluntary organisations etc.

Community education in the ETBs is co-ordinated by Community Education Facilitators. Contact your local ETB for more information. AONTAS also supports the work of community education groups outside of the ETB structure through the Community Education Network.

AONTAS is the Community Education Network in Ireland. It has 140 community education provider members. AONTAS estimates that there are approximately 200,000 adults involved in formal and further education programmes around the country.


AONTAS recently announced a new online support for adult learners called One Step Up which aims to assist adults to access further education and training in their communities. brings together all of the contact details for the further education services in the Education and Training Boards, along with useful resources and websites in a simple, easy to use format.  The site has been especially designed for use on a smartphone and tablet, but is also accessible on a PC. 

To search OneStepUp click here. For people who have difficulty using the website there is a Freephone Helpline 1800 303 669.

What Next?

The 'What Next ?' guide from AONTAS also provides very practical information for adult learners.  What Next ? can be downloaded here [Pdf]. Hard copies are available from AONTAS.

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Yes, I am passionate about learning, I actively encourage my team to commit to their studies by highlighting the benefits of continuous professional development. I will complete the MDI qualification which contributes towards credit for ACII.
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