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 Brian Macken from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:


Brian Macken

Science Communicator

Smart Futures

Read more

  Brian Macken

I would strongly advise you to do the Masters in Science Communication in DCU. It really gives you a feel for the different kinds of media and ways of explaining things. And it's a good place to make contacts, which is also useful.

I would also recommend that you read science books. Not textbooks, good popular science books are just as useful for this kind of work, as it's already been broken down into simpler language for you. And only read the ones that you're interested in - it shouldn't be a chore to read them.

But I would recommend reading outside your subject area, so if you're into physics, then read some books on biology and vice versa (everyone should read Stephen J. Gould).  However, the more knowledge you have, the more questions you'll be able to answer.


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Study Skills
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Construction sector skills gap

logo imagelogo image

Construction sector skills gap

Monday, April 11, 2016 

Construction sector skills gap

The construction sector is expected to grow by more than a fifth this year, however, a skills shortage in key building trades from glazing and electrical to plastering is threatening to hold back a revival in the construction sector, according to a new report.

Building consultancy Bruce Shaw, is forecasting construction output of about €15bn this year overall. While the growth in the sector is encouraging, Shaw is the latest player in the construction industry to warn that a growing skills shortage in the market threatens to undermine the economy.

"The construction sector experienced the highest number of company failures of any industry during the recession and employment levels fell to a quarter of their peak levels [after the crash]. "This has led to a huge skills shortage, particularly in specialist trades such as glazing, mechanical and electrical services but also in traditional trades such as steel fixing and plastering.

Is a career in The Construction Sector for you? Visit Apprenticeships for more on specialist trades and available opportunities.   

"We can't fill the gap fast enough to meet the demand and this is seriously impacting on tender levels," Mr Scully said. The company believes that building activity is 60pc below the peak.

The firm made the comments as it launched the '2016 Bruce Shaw Ireland Handbook', the annual publication seen as the benchmark for the building trade.

Figures from the handbook are used to benchmark the cost of building work among many other functions across the industry. Bruce Shaw's Derek Scully said a worsening skills gap and higher costs were hurting the industry.


The CareersPortal Team