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 Margaret Donaghue from Civil and Public Service Jobs to give some advice for people considering this job:


Margaret Donaghue

Prison Officer

Civil and Public Service Jobs

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  Margaret Donaghue
Learn as much as you can in any situation that presents itself. Never be afraid to try something even if it scares you to do so. And give it all you have. Be a good listener and a good communicator and be fair.

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Disability - Further Education Supports
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Further Education Supports

About Third Level

Third-level education in Ireland can be divided into two sections – Further education and training and Higher education and training.

Further Education and Training is education and training that takes place after post-primary level education, and before and higher level education. These courses are called Post-Leaving Cert (PLC) courses. They are referred to as Level 5 or Level 6 courses on the National Qualifications Framework (NFQ). A huge range of PLC courses can be found at the Colleges of Further Education.

Higher Education and training is mainly provided in Universities and Institutes of Technology (ITs), and in some Further Education Colleges around the country. These courses are at Level 7 or Level 8 on the NFQ, and can go to Level 9 and Level 10.

It is worth keeping in mind that it is possible to take up a place on a PLC course and work your way in to the Institutes of Technology and Universities - many students, including students with disabilities opt for this approach.

Information on the full range of courses in Ireland can be found here

Further Education and Disability

Students must be registered on a full time Post Leaving Certificate Course (PLC) to avail of supports for Further Education.

Funding is available only for courses at FETAC Level 5 and 6. Students
should contact the Disability Support Officer or appointed staff member in the college as early as possible to arrange an appointment to discuss his or her specific support requirements. The Disability Support Officer (DSO) or appointed staff member will carry out an Assessment of Needs with the student in order to identify how best to support the student during their time in college.

The DSO will apply for funding on behalf of the student to the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Appropriate documentation must accompany all funding applications. All students With disabilities who are registered on full time courses in Post Leaving Certificate centres can apply for the funding.

The National Learning Network (NLN) /CDETB Disability Support Service (DSS) offers a wide range of supports to students with disabilities in eight CDETB Colleges of Further Education in Dublin:

  • Ballyfermot College of Further Education
  • Pearse College of Further Education
  • Inchicore College of Further Education
  • Colaiste Dhulaigh College of Further Education
  • Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
  • Plunkett College
  • Whitehall College of Further Education
  • Killester College of Further Education

The NLN has a useful study skills guide available here.



Useful Links
National Learning Network 
Non-Government training organisation with centres in almost every county. Each year, 5,000 people, including many who may otherwise find it difficult to gain employment, come to learn and study with us and to develop the skills to move forward with their
Useful Links:
Disability Access Route to Education
Higher Education Access Route
Student Finance