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:


Elaine McGarrigle

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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  Elaine McGarrigle

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.


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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Education Education

Education Occupations

Key points for selected education occupations

  • In 2015, there were approximately 120,000 persons employed in the selected education occupations, representing 6.1% of national employment.
  • Just over 80% of overall employment was at professional level (mostly in primary/nursery and secondary school teaching).
  • Between 2010 and 2015, while overall employment expanded very modestly (1.5% on average annually), the change in employment varied by occupation; growth was observed for vocational & industrial trainers/instructors (5.1% on average annually), secondary teachers (3.1% on average annually) and primary & nursery teachers (1.6% on average annually), while modest decreases were observed for higher & further education teaching professionals (1.5% on average annually)
  • Over the same five year period, there were a net 8,500 additional jobs created; the largest employment increases were observed for secondary and primary/nursery teachers.
  • Between 2014 and 2015, overall employment expanded by 2.8% (similar to the national average rate), with a net 3,000 additional jobs; the largest increase (in absolute terms) was observed for primary/nursery teachers.
  • At least one quarter of employed higher & further, teaching and other education professionals were aged 55 or older ─ above the national average.
  • Over 90% of persons employed in professional occupations were third level graduates; the share was 70% for associate professionals (i.e. vocational & industrial trainers/instructors); just over half of employed educational assistants were third level graduates Females accounted for the highest share in all educational occupations, excluding higher & further education teaching professionals (gender balanced) and vocational & industrial trainers/instructors (46% female).
  • Teaching and other educational professionals along with educational support assistants had the highest shares of persons working part-time at 35% and 28% respectively.

Shortage Indicators

As the public sector resumes recruitment, employment growth is expected, primarily to address demographic demand: the DES estimates that, following an increased number of births from the late 1990s onwards, enrolments will continue to increase until 2018 (primary level) and 2025 (second level). In Budget 2016, the Government announced the creation of over 1,400 additional teaching posts for September 2016 to deal with demographic demand alone; it also announced the creation of over 800 additional teaching posts to reduce class size at primary level and to enhance guidance and leadership at second level.42 In addition, a significant share of the total recruitment requirement is also expected to arise due to replacement demand. In 2015, almost 3,000 transitions to economic inactivity (i.e. retirement, home duty etc.) were identified for primary and secondary teachers.

In 2015, graduate output from education courses at NFQ levels 8 and above was 6,000 (including private colleges). The extent to which this will meet the recruitment requirement will depend on Government policy regarding public expenditure on education.

Although no shortage of teachers has been identified overall, (in May 2016, there were 460 job ready job seekers with third level qualifications), issues continue to exist in relation to sourcing teachers (in both second and third level) with a high level of expertise in specific fields, such as science and mathematics. As the economy recovers, the ability to attract persons with science and maths skills into teaching may become more challenging given that such skills are also in demand in other sectors (e.g. IT, financial).

Labour Market Research 21

These links are to well established sources of information used to review, evaluate and predict changes in our labour market.

Regional Labour Markets Bulletin October 2016 
A Report prepared by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit in SOLAS.
Regional Labour Markets Bulletin 2014 
Report prepared by the Skills and Labour Market
Research Unit in SOLAS aimed at providing an analysis of the key labour market indicators for each of Ireland’s eight administrative
regions: Border, Dublin, Mid-East, Midland, Mid-West, South-East, South-
Addressing the Demand for Skills in the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics Sector in Ireland 2015 – 2020 
February 2015 EGFSN report assessing the skills and competency requirements for the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics sector in Ireland up to 2020
Vacancy Overview 2014 - EFGSN 
The Vacancy Overview 2014 produced May 2015 by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit in SOLAS on behalf of the EGFSN, draws on data from newly advertised job vacancies in the following sources: DSP Jobs Ireland and The analysis focuses
Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply 
July 2015 report on those entering and leaving the Irish education system (primary, post-primary,further education and training, and higher education) spanning the ten levels of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)
Regional Labour Markets Bulletin 2015 
Annual report produced by the EGFSN which identifies variations in skills supply and demand across 8 regions (Border, Dublin, Mid East, Mid-West, Midland, South East, South West and West).
Assessment of Future Skills Requirements in the Hospitality Sector in Ireland 2015-2020 
Report from the EGFSN assessing the skills demand within the Hospitality sector in Ireland to 2020 to ensure the right supply of skills to help drive domestic hospitality sector business and employment growth.
Vacancy Overview 2015 - EGFSN May 2016 
A report produced by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS for the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs contextualising 2015 vacancy data with what is occurring in the Irish labour market
Future Skills Needs of the Biopharma Industry in Ireland August 2016 
This report reviews the supply of, and demand for, skills within the Biopharma Industry in Ireland up to 2020, with a specific focus on Biologics manufacturing as a growing sub-sector within the industry. It is estimated that 8,400 potential job openings
Assessing the Demand for Big Data and Analytics Skills 2013 - 2020 
May 2014 EGFSN report identifying measures to build up the Big Data and analytics talent pool in Ireland over the period up to 2020 in line with enterprise demand.
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Current Labour Market Info 4

These sites provide news of current events that relate to our evolving labour market.

IBEC Quarterly Economic Trends 
Download publication in PDF format.
SCSI Employment Opportunities & Skills Requirements for Construction and Property Surveying 2014-18 
New report April 2014 from SCSI outlining the Employment Opportunities and Skills Requirements for Construction and Property Surveying projected from 2014-2018
Shortage of craft/entry level staff in the Hotel Sector 
Hotels and guesthouses are experiencing serious difficulties recruiting suitably qualified craft/entry level staff - IHF Annual Conference 24/2/14
National Skills Bulletin 2015 
The National Skills Bulletin 2015 provides an overview of the Irish labour market at occupational level, drawing on a variety of data sets, which have been systematically gathered in the National Skills Database (NSD) since 2003.

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