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 Natasha Ibanez from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Natasha Ibanez

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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  Natasha Ibanez
An education in Mechanical Engineering would be preferable. I would advise them to get as much diverse work experiences as possible, even if these jobs are not engineering related.

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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Springboard Initiative

The Springboard initiative for higher education offers free, part-time courses at certificate, degree and masters level, leading to qualifications that are in demand among employers. The majority of courses are one-year or less in duration.

In a rapidly shifting economic environment, Springboard courses have provided over 23,000 people with a new skill-set, specifically tailored to the needs of today’s market. All of the courses aim to re-skill people in areas where job opportunities in skilled employment are growing – information and communications technology (ICT); high level manufacturing; medical devices; bio pharma; financial services; skills to trade internationally; entrepreneurship and business start-up, niche skills in the construction industry.

Springboard+ 2016 offers a choice of over 280 free, part-time and intensive conversion courses in higher education from certificate, to degree, to post-graduate level at certifictate, degree, and post graduate level. Most are part-time, but there are also some full-time courses, including ICT Conversion courses. There are 2,000 free places available throughout the country.

To view videos of people talking about their experience of Springboard courses: click here

Springboard is open to jobseekers who have a previous history of employment and believe that a focused, high-quality qualification is the key to getting back to work.

To find out more about Springboard+ or to apply for one of its courses visit or try our email:

See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on for more information.

To check if you are eligible for Springboard click here

All courses are part-time, allowing you keep your social protection supports and making it easier for those with families and responsibilities. There is usually no additonal payments available for Springboard.

A total of 34 institutions in both the public and private sector offer programmes ranging from Certificates in Digital Marketing and in Supply Chain Management to Masters in Energy Management.

If you are interested you can apply online through which is the central clearing system for all part-time (including non-Springboard) courses.

To view current Springboard courses click here

Advice and guidance on Springboard, including ICT Skills Conversion courses is available from the Springboard freephone helpline on 1800 303 523. The line is open Monday-Friday between the hours of 9.30am-4.30pm

  Hint: McDonald's
I have upskilled by taking part in management courses to help with my management skills and training. I plan on undertaking further courses this year to expand my management knowledge.
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