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 Martin Dunn from Failte Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Martin Dunn

Activities Manager

Failte Ireland

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  Martin Dunn
  • Qualities & Values - Patience, hard work, like meeting people, enjoy providing good customer service, desire to do a good job for yourself and your employer 
  • Client Skills - Qualification both education qualifications and practical ability to the job
  • Interests - to be generally interested in the field you are working in. I think that it is easy for people to look at the job and think its great and must be loads of fun because you get to go on the high ropes all the time. That is just a small part of the job and generally you are watching others having fun and playing on the activities and you only go on them to do staff training or to do safety checks. You must also be prepared for the paper work that goes along with a job where you are responsible for that safety of people and this cannot be overlooked.
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Investigative?
Investigative 
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Adult Learner

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Further Education - (2 & 3)


Courses in Ed Zone 2 include the Leaving Certificate and many one-year PLC and FETCH courses.

Note: some PLC colleges also offer two-year programes (Advanced Certificates: Level 6) which also fall into the Ed Zone 3 category.

PLC & FetchCourses

PLC courses are run around the country and provide an excellent opportunity to study an area of interest, for either the fun of learning, or to gain an award that can be later used to access employment or a third level education. Most PLC courses are QQI accredited, though some are not. Those that are not may be accredited by a internationally recognised UK body (e.g. City & Guilds, ITEC etc.).

Notes:

  • Most PLC courses lead to a QQI Level 5 Certificate and last one year.
  • Competition for places is competitive.
  • Entry requirements are usually a pass Leaving Cert or QQI equivalent qualification and normally be subject to an interview.
  • Many courses allow progression into a second year in the same college.
  • Some PLC courses lead to a QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate or equivalent, and last 2 years.
  • Most PLC courses can be used to enter Third Level courses using what is known as Progression RoutesNote: If the course that interests you offers or accepts progression pathways to level 6, 7 and 8 courses this green link   will appear beside the course information.
Go to PLC Search Wizard hereSearch for PLC Courses here.

FetchCourses.ie is a course search for Further Education & Training in Ireland.

Leaving Certificate

Many adult learners decide to do the leaving certificate, particularly if they did not get an opportunity when they were younger and use it as pathway to returning to education.

If you want to do the Leaving Certificate, you should contact your local ETB (Education and Training Board) and ask for information. 

Find your local ETB

Repeat Leaving Certificate

Education and Training Boards offer repeat Leaving Certificate courses in a number of colleges throughout the country. Alternatively a number of private colleges offer repeat Leaving Certificate courses. The good news is that repeat classes tend to be small, which allows for individual attention and there is a big focus on study skills.

Enrolment and advice on subject choices normally takes place from the beginning of August to mid September each year, depending on the college.

The cost of doing a repeat Leaving Certificate varies. ETB colleges (formerly VECs) are the less expensive option, however students are advised to check with their local ETB to see what exact costs are involved. If you choose to repeat it with a private college the cost is considerably higher.

You should contact your local Adult Education Guidance Initiative service (AEGI) based in the ETB if you are thinking of repeating your Leaving Certificate. 

To find contacts for your local Adult Guidance Initiative or ETB visit OneStepUp.ie

  Hint: Smart Futures
I have recently completed Green Belt training in Six Sigma Operational Excellence. HETAC award a certificate in Process Engineering for this course. The course trains you in advanced project management skills through six sigma methodologies. Six sigma is used in companies all around the world from Toyota to Wyeth. Project management is integral to the success of any company as you must manage your projects effectively for them to complete in a timely manner and to successfully deliver the outputs from it. I would like to one day go back and complete a Masters in Business Administration.
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