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 David Kehoe from Failte Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

David Kehoe

Chef

Failte Ireland

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  David Kehoe
If you're going to be a chef give it everything you have, because it will give you everything you have ever wanted in return. It's up to me to teach you all the skills.
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Realist?
Realist 
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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Adult Learner

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VTOS


Education and Training Boards (ETBs) replaced Vocational Educational Committees (VECs) and are run by the Department of Education and Skills. 

Courses must be full time and can take as long as two years and lead to qualifications such as Junior Certificate, Leaving Certificate and Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) certificates.

VTOS aims to give unemployed people education and training opportunities that will help them find a job, and to prepare people to go to paid employment or to further educational opportunities leading to paid employment.

If you are registered as unemployed, you will not have to 'sign on' at your local Social Welfare Office while on a VTOS course.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to a small lunch allowance and a travel allowance depending on how far you have to travel to the VTOS centre. You may also get some childcare support. The VTOS allowance is not means-tested, so you may work without it affecting your payment. Students on VTOS usually receive free books and materials at the start of their course. VTOS payments are made for a maximum of 2 years.

You can qualify for VTOS if you are:

  • aged at least 21
  • In receipt of any the following payments:

-Jobseekers Allowance/Benefit
-One-Parent Family Payment
-Disability Allowance
-Illness Benefit
-Invalidity Pension
-Blind Pension
-Deserted Wife's Allowance
-Deserted Wife's Benefit
-Widow's or Widowers Non and Contributory Pensions
-Prisoners Wife's Allowance

  • have not been engaged in paid employment for at least 6 months before you start the course.

Note: recipients of Illness Benefit must get permission from the Department to start a VTOS course.

If you are getting an unemployment payment and you are getting an increase for your spouse or partner, they may also participate in VTOS.

Search for VTOS courses from Qualifax here Search for VTOS Courses here

Contact Local ETBFor further information on the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme VTOS, contact your local education and training board
  Hint: ESB
It has to be said that ESBI give excellent training. Along with mandatory in-house training, where ESBI engineers bring you up to speed on all aspects of power plants and their design and operation ESBI also provide great opportunities for external training, e.g. I have been on a training course in Amsterdam to upskill on gasification technology, I attended a conference in Pittsburgh to come up to speed with CO2 capture technologies etc.
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