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 Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

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  Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.
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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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Electrical Instrumentation Craftsperson
In Summary header image

Electrical Instrumentation Craftsperson

The Electrical Instrumentation craftsperson is involved in the installation, commissioning, testing and maintenance of various wiring systems and services within the commercial and industrial sector.

Their work also includes the maintenance and repair of all instruments used in the measurement and control of process variables (e.g. in the chemical industry to measure and control the temperature, pressure and flow, as appropriate, in various points of the process).

The Electrical Instrumentation craftsperson carries out installation, maintenance and calibration of measuring instruments, sensors, transmitting and controlling devices and systems associated with the measurement, control and protection of physical quantities found in these industries. The measurement and control of these quantities enables products to be produced to specification, taking account of the safety of personnel, plant and equipment and the protection of the environment.

Electrical Instrumentation craftspersons are employed in the installation and maintenance of measurement and control equipment in pharmaceutical, food and other industries.

Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade.

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade O5 (grade C3 pre-2017) in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.


Training header image

Phase 1: With Employer

  • Induction Training
  • Introduction to Health & Safety
  • Introduction to Tools & Equipment
  • Introduction to Basic Skills 
Phase 2: Delivered in Training Centre (27 weeks)
Course Content:
  • Induction
  • Electricity/Electronics
  • Installation Techniques
  • Measurement - Pressure
  • Measurement - Flow
  • Measurement - Level
  • Measurement - Temperature
  • Automatic Control
  • Related Theory 
Phase 3: With Employer

Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 4: Delivered in Educational College (21 weeks)
Course Content:
  • Electricity, Motors & Motor Control and Power Distribution
  • Hazardous Environments
  • Electronics Measurement
  • Final Control Elements
  • Automatic Control
  • Related Theory 
Phase 5: With Employer

Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 6: Delivered in Educational College (11 weeks)
Course Content:
  • Electricity, Motor Speed Control and Measurement
  • Switchboards & Switch Gear
  • Electronics
  • Communications Systems
  • Related Theory 
Phase 7: With Employer

Work Based Training and Assessments

The overall duration of this apprenticeship is a minimum of 4 years provided all phases are successfully completed.

On successful completion of the programme the learner is awarded a Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft – Electrical Instrumentation.


Personal Qualities header image

As an Electrical Instrumentation craftsperson you will need to be physically active and to be able to work with your hands.

An awareness of health and safety and good housekeeping is essential as well as attention to detail and an eye for the aesthetic.

The Electrical Instrumentation craftsperson must have the ability to:

  • Plan and organise
  • Communicate effectively
  • Solve problems
  • Work independently and as part of a team
  • Show a positive attitude
  • Recognise the need for good customer relations
  • Demonstrate good work practices including time keeping, tidiness, responsibility, quality awareness and safety awareness
Note: A person wishing to become an apprentice Electrical Instrumentation Craftsperson must pass a colour–vision test approved by SOLAS.


Work Activities header image

  • Learning and developing new practical craft-related skills, knowledge and competence
  • Working with and learning from experienced craftspersons
  • Comply with Health and Safety requirements
  • Working with electricity or electronics
  • Understanding and using physics
  • Using mathematics to solve technical or scientific problems
  • Being responsible for controlling or adjusting equipment
  • Working on machines/processes
  • Understanding technical drawings and diagrams
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Being accurate with numbers in counting, measuring and arithmetic
  • Working with a variety of specialised hand tools, power tools and equipment
  • Keeping accurate records of all calibrations or reports
  • Being well organised and careful with practical tasks
  • Taking responsibility for their own learning, including the allocation of study time
  • Being physically active
  • Passing all your phase exams (theory, practicals skills demonstration)
  • Earning as you learn


Pay & Fees header image

Funding Arrangements

All apprentices are paid a Training Allowance while attending off-the-job training in training centres or college, and an Apprentice Rate of pay during the on-the-job phases of their apprenticeship.

Details of the Training Allowances payable are available here.

What apprentice rate wages are paid?

Apprentice rates are paid for the on-the-job phases of apprenticeships. The actual rates paid may vary depending on the occupation and employer. Generally, the rates will increase in a number of steps during the apprenticeship. For example:

 

All other Trades

Electrical

Apprentices

APPRENTICE RATE

€ / hr

€ / hr

1st Year Rate

2nd Year Rate

3rd Year Rate

4th Year Rate

5.73

8.61

12.91

15.49

6.22

9.33

13.48

16.59

Note: You should always seek details of specific rates of pay for apprentices from prospective employers.

Apprentice Student Contribution

The Annual Student Contribution is levied on students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology. As part of the changes included in Budget 2014, apprentices now pay the same contribution as full time students, but their contribution is based on the time they spend in the Institute or College.

The Student Contribution is payable to the IoT /College on the date of registration for the training phase. You should consult the relevant IoT/College for details of payment options.

Note: Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the IoT or College for repeat exams. 

Female Apprentices' bursary for employers

To promote the entry of women into the designated apprenticeships, a bursary is available to employers to encourage an increased level of recruitment of female apprentices.

For more information Click here or contact your local ETB Training Centre.


Entry Requirements header image

The minimum age at which the employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age. 
The minimum educational requirements are: 
1. Grade D in five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,
or
2. The successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course 
or 
3. Three years’ work experience gained over sixteen years of age in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable 

Note: These are the current approved minimum educational requirements for apprenticeship programmes, however, previous experience of the following subjects would be an advantage but not essential:

  • Mathematics
  • Technical Drawing/Graphics
  • Technology
  • Physics
Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade.

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade O5 (grade C3 pre-2017) in Ordinary Level Maths)) and preferably Physics.


Getting an Apprenticeship header image

You must obtain employment as an apprentice in your chosen occupation.

  • The employer must be approved to train apprentices.
  • The employer must register you as an apprentice within two weeks of recruitment.
Note: Electrical instrumentation Apprenticeship applicants are required to pass a colour vision test approved by SOLAS.
Are you interested in a construction apprenticeship?
If so, register your interest by creating an account and uploading a short personal profile via this link.


Career Opportunities header image

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, apprentices are qualified to work within the recognised trade or profession. 

Where apprentices and craftspersons have the necessary ability, initiative and basic qualifications, opportunities are available for advancement. These include advanced technology courses and management courses which are available in Institutes of Technology, Schools of Management and Professional Institutes.

Many craftspersons use their apprenticeship qualification as a platform to launch careers such as engineers, managers, owners of businesses, teachers and instructors amongst others.

For those with a desire to advance, career progrssion options include:

  • Plant Manager
  • Supervisor
  • Maintenance Technician / Manager
  • Facilities Manager


Occupation Profile header image

Information to follow...


Progression Routes header image

Information to follow...