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 Paul Dowling from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Paul Dowling



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  Paul Dowling
Ideally, try and get a job in the industry for a summer, or get a bit of experience before you go into it. You have to be happy with working outside, and doing physical work. If you are not prepared to work hard or are looking for a soft job, don't go into Landscaping. Design is very sexy at the moment, everyone wants to be a designer, a Landscape Designer. It's different on the ground, you have to be out there on sites in all weather and you have to make sure projects are managed well and you're able to muck in with everyone else. Biology is most important for anyone going into Horticulture or Landscaping as it covers propagation and helps with the identification of plant names, species and families through the universal use of Latin. Chemistry is also helpful as the use of various chemicals is a constant in horticulture. The chemical content and dangers of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides in use in Amenity Horticulture needs to be understood anyone going into this business. Geography would be a relevant subject as well. Also, the simple things like having a full, clean driving licence, which can make you a lot more employable if you are trying for a job with a Landscape Conractor. This indicates that you are more mobile and can also drive a company van if needed. Be sure you're happy with the outdoor life. Having taken a Horticulture course will give you an advantage. However, it's possible to take a job first and study later, e.g. in IT Blanchardstown it is possible to study at night. I think you cannot beat doing the Diploma Course in the National Botanic Gardens because it is a good practical course which also covers all the theory and is invaluable for gaining plant knowledge.

Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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15 500 extra Transport and Logistics workers needed to 2020

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15 500 extra Transport and Logistics workers needed to 2020

Monday, February 23, 2015 

15 500 extra Transport and Logistics workers needed to 2020

The Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics (FTDL) sector will need up to 15,500 extra skilled workers to 2020, according to a report launched today (18th February) by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.

The report highlights the potential for warehousing and storage apprenticeship programmes and a need for the development of structured career paths, especially for lower skilled workers. 

Addressing the Demand for skills in the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics sector in Ireland 2015-2020.

In order to respond to the skills challenges identified, 13 Priority Recommendations are made.

In order to respond to the skills challenges identified, 13 Priority Recommendations are made including:

  • Developing National Occupational Standards for the FTDL sector to create career pathways in a range of roles including Warehousing and Storage, Freight Forwarding, and HGV Drivers
  • Introduction of new Apprenticeship/Traineeship programmes for the FTDL sector – starting with HGV Driving and Warehouse and Storage.
  • Development of a schools/career service communication kit for the sector
  • Improved training provision for Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers. 
  • Introduction of short IT user FTDL sector specific courses for lower skilled to management level
  • Development of “soft skills” courses aimed at management level - most likely applicable for those that have “worked their way up”. Integrate into training/education provision at all levels.
  • Boosting of third level relevant logistics related provision (in terms of numbers and relevant course content) and ensure practical experience.
  • Ensuring the inclusion of a supply chain module in relevant business degree courses.
  • Improved knowledge of the available range and quality of FTDL related courses
  • Development of a lead centre for 3rd level institutions that deliver FTDL programmes as a point of first contact for industry. A centre such as DIT may be well placed to undertake this lead role. The centre should collaborate with SOLAS on developing progression pathways

The sector is of strategic and operational importance for business within Ireland across all sectors of the economy. The key aim of the report is to ensure that the sector will have the quality and quantity of skills to meet the skills challenges and opportunities identified up to 2020.

There are an estimated 48,800 persons employed in core FTDL occupations in 2015. These roles are spread across a range of sectors within the economy including transportation and storage, manufacturing and retail and wholesale trade.

Forecasts reported anticipate some 13,500 to 15,500 job vacancies could become available up to 2020, largely due to expansion and replacement demand.

The full report, Addressing the Demand for skills in the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics sector in Ireland 2015-2020, and its recommendations are available here.

To get a glimpse into careers in this sector, take a look at what a Warehouse Manager does.

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The CareersPortal Team