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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 Elaine McGarrigle from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:
The most important skill that a person in my position can have is communication.
One needs to be able to communicate effectively with people of all levels in order to do a days work. I think that this is the most important quality, to be able to fit in well with people, everyone from the operators to the senior management, one needs to be able to read them and how best to communicate with them.
An interest in basic engineering and in the heavy machine industry.
It is important to realise that working as a mechanical engineer in Irish Cement does not generally involve sitting at your desk all day. It involves alot of hands on, on-site work so a person needs to be prepared to get their hands dirty.
Another quality that is important is to be willing to learn. Even after a number of years in college, one needs to be eager to learn the ins and outs of a new environment; how cement is made, what equipment is involved, what generally goes wrong and how it is fixed.
Everyone will help and teach you but you need to open your mind and be prepared to take it all in.
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Lydia Peppard, Care Assistant
Lydia works as a Health Care Assistant for the HSE and is based in St. Joseph's Hospital in Co. Meath. Lydia has worked in patient care throughout her career, and has completed an Honours Degree in Industrial Relations/HR in recent years. She would now like to move more into the Human Resources area and work on bringing about change that benefits all.
English, Maths, Irish, French, History, Geography, Home Economics, Commerce (now called Business Studies) - these were subjects that I did for my Inter Cert, (now the Junior Cert), I left school after this. The courses that I took that had career implications were English, Maths, Commerce and Home Economics.
The implications of these were that English is needed for communication, Home Economics prepares one for life experiences and Commerce gives one an understanding of budgets and financial constraints. The subjects are practical ones and have helped me in my career. In hindsight I would have gone on to do my Leaving Cert and would have done Biology as this would have given me a basis to go further with my career, such as studying for nursing.
I have undertaken further training as part of my career. In the last year I have participated in a FETAC Level 5 Course and I hope to do the courses on Activities of Living and Care Skills and any other courses that are provided by the Health Service.
The Skills VEC FETAC Level 5 Modules; Communications, Care Support, Food Preparation and Service, Legislative Procedures & Quality, Nutrition, Work Experience, Infection Prevention and Control and Stock Control and Material Systems have proven the most important for my job and the Manual handling courses.
The ones that stood out as been particularly relevant for my job are, Communications, Care Support, Nutrition, Work Experience, Infection Prevention and Control and the manual handling course. I have also found the ECDL course to be important as I use the computer at work for work relating to the committees I am on.