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.

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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Applications for Insurance Apprenticeship to Open in June 2016

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Applications for Insurance Apprenticeship to Open in June 2016

Wednesday, March 09, 2016 

Applications for Insurance Apprenticeship to Open in June 2016

The Insurance Practitioner Professional Apprenticeship is expected to open for applications in June 2016.

As we draw closer to the opening of applications in June this year, we will be bringing you further details on the history of apprenticeships, their relevance to the Irish market and why they will form a core part of school-leavers’ options into the future.


Over the last 50 years, the number of people attending college after school has increased exponentially. In 2011, 69% of school leavers were attending university compared to 11% in 1965, with apprenticeships limited to ‘trade-based’ industries such as electricians.

This has resulted in an academically over-qualified workforce who graduate with little or no employability skills, which is causing a crisis in talent acquisition across a number of industries including insurance.

The insurance sector previously had a tradition of hiring school-leavers into apprenticeship roles. Many of the industry’s leaders started out as apprentices, undertaking professional qualifications as they worked their way up through the ranks.

However, this tradition faded with the increasing popularity of attending university over the last 15 years, although the graduates who enter the industry still undertake professional qualifications on top of their college degrees, as in other industries – a source of frustration for many.

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship will provide a solution to these issues. School leavers who embark on the professional apprenticeship scheme will get their foot on the career ladder earlier than most graduates, while still earning a level 8 qualification and a salary.

They become part of a pool of talent from which organisations can recruit when looking for people who want to create a strong career in the insurance industry and who have the qualifications and employability skills to do so. The BA (Hons) Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship, a level 8 ‘earn and learn’ degree delivered by The Insurance Institute and IT Sligo, which combines academic qualifications with practical on-the-job learning.