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 Sarah Lynch from Bank of Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:


Sarah Lynch

HR Business Partner

Bank of Ireland

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  Sarah Lynch

I would encourage anyone who was considering a role in HR to get a HR qualification and to become a member of the CIPD.  


Whilst these are not essential requirements for all starter roles in HR, they will be extremely beneficial when trying to progress from there.



The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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New Apprenticeship Route to IT Careers Open to Leaving Certs

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New Apprenticeship Route to IT Careers Open to Leaving Certs

Monday, April 20, 2015 

New Apprenticeship Route to IT Careers Open to Leaving Certs

The FIT ICT Associate Professional is a new IT apprenticeship-style (learn & earn) pathway to a career in the technology sector.

Over 7,000 jobs are currently available in ICT sector – as highlighted by the FIT ICT Skills Audit 2014 – 75% of which are at entry and competent levels.

IBM has been involved with FastTrack to IT (FIT) for many years, as one part of an extensive programme to hire and develop the skilled people needed for their operations in Ireland and were delighted when FIT approached them to help with the development of their new ICT Associate Professional Programme and to support its launch in December 2014.

For this certification programme FIT has produced an innovative syllabus focusing on equipping the IT professionals of the future with the skills to meet the business needs of today and tomorrow.

It draws on FIT’s own extensive experience in working directly with IT companies and its close collaboration with government departments and national education and training agencies.


The IT apprenticeship will take place over two years and combines workplace learning in a technology company, with classroom teaching in a college setting.

During this time participants will attain a Level 6 ICT and Professional Development Qualification and will be awarded the title of FIT ICT Associate Professional by the industry.

The first 6 months are college-based where candidates will acquire the technical acumen. The remaining 18 months are a combination of work-place application and college-based learning where candidates will further their skills development and apply their learning to live projects within their sponsoring company.

A FIT ICT Associate Professional spends much of their time training with a company, helping them to effectively learn the skills needed in the work place using modern technology and equipment and getting involved in real-life work processes.

There are many merits to this dual education approach for both the participating companies and the apprentices. Current evidence from around the world reveals that companies which invest in such apprenticeships derive many long term business benefits from doing so. For participating technology companies like IBM, the programme is designed to ensure that not only will they have an employee who is being trained to industry standards, but they will also have an employee who understands their unique workplace conditions.


It ensures that future skills needs will be met and also provides a pool of skilled employees from which future supervisors and managers could be internally recruited. By training within a technology company’s working environment apprentices use the tools and IT equipment that will be needed to carry out their specific job role. As a result, the skills they learn are of immediate use and benefit to the participating company.


The apprentice also practices under the supervision of more experienced employees of the company, allowing them to gain more confidence in their work and to integrate quickly into the company. The training that apprentices receive during the college-based part of the course is state-of-the-art, so as technology and industry moves on, companies can be assured that new developments or certification skills will be incorporated within the programme of study.


As the apprentices learn by a combination of attending college and learning on the job, many find that it is a more effective approach than the traditional college course, allowing them to apply classroom learning immediately to an on-the-job situation. The newly launched FIT Associate Professional Programme modernises the apprentice model for the digital age. It is a very exciting new initiative with serious potential to secure Ireland’s reputation in the tech space. We at IBM look forward to the Class of 2015 arriving soon.

Date Location
April 2015 Dublin
May 2015 Dublin
August 2015 Cork
September 2015 Dublin
September 2015 Longford/Westmeath
October 2015 Cavan/Monaghan
November 2015 Dublin
February 2016 Cork
February 2016 Dublin
May 2016 Dublin


The FIT ICT Associate Professional training is funded by SOLAS and the Education & Training Boards so you don’t need to pay fees.


Once you commence your work experience with your Sponsor company in the 7th month of the programme, you will receive an allowance of between €260 and €290 per week for the reminder of the first year. In the second year of the programme, you will receive between €340 and €385 per week.


If you are a keen tech enthusiast and are interested in participating in the FIT ICT Associate Professional programme, then contact FIT at or call 01 8825570 or lo call on 1890 815 704.

See for further information. PDF Article available here.

The Careersportal Team