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 Tomas Flanagan from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:


Tomas Flanagan

Occupational Therapist

St. Michael's House

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  Tomas Flanagan

I would advise anyone interested in Occupational Therapy to read up on the profession or else try to meet a qualified Occupational Therapist and talk to them about their work.

The internet can be a great resource in getting information. Also information from the universities might indicate if this is a course that is suited to you. A lot of the course work relies on you being a self-directed learner. This makes the course different to other more mainstream/academic courses as the onus is on the student to complete a lot of work independently.

As this is a caring profession an interest in working with people is a must. You also need to be a good communicator as you will be working closely with clients, families and other staff on an ongoing basis.

Organisational skills are essential to enable you to manage a caseload.


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.
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Labour Market Sector Profiles

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Legal & Security Occupations

Key points for selected legal and security occupations

  • In 2015, there were approximately 35,000 persons employed in legal and security occupations, representing 1.8% of Ireland’s workforce.
  • Almost 70% of overall employment was concentrated in public administration and defence, while almost a further 30% was in professional, scientific and technical activities.
  • Over the period 2010 to 2015, overall employment levels in legal and security occupations contracted (by 3.7% on average annually, or 7,500 persons); this was the strongest rate of decline of the 17 occupational groups examined, and was in contrast to the very modest growth of 0.8% nationally.
  • Over that five year period, employment contracted in all occupations, although it was negligible for protective service occupations; the strongest declines (in absolute and relative terms) were observed for army personnel (8.9% on average annually) and Gardaí (3.7% on average annually).
  • Between 2014 and 2015, employment contracted by 2.1% (compared to a 2.6% increase nationally), with less than 1,000 net job losses; employment levels for most occupations remained relatively unchanged over the period.
  • Just over four fifths of persons employed in legal and security occupations was aged 25-54; one quarter of employed barristers, judges, solicitors & related professionals was 55 or older ─ the most mature workforce.
  • All persons employed as legal professionals (i.e. barristers, judges, solicitors and related legal professionals) had attained third level qualifications; the corresponding share was almost one third for employed army personnel and two fifths for protective service workers; almost three fifths of employed army personnel had attained higher secondary/FET qualifications, while the share was almost a half for protective services workers.
  • While employment in most legal and security occupations was predominantly male, it was almost gender balanced for the combined group (barristers, judges, solicitors & related professionals).
  • Most persons employed in the selected occupations worked full-time and were Irish-nationals.

Shortage Indicators

There were 10,700 legal professionals (including judges, barristers and solicitors) employed in Ireland in 2015.

With over 1,500 law graduates from NFQ level 8 and above courses in 2015, the supply from the education and training system appears to be sufficient to meet the recruitment requirement (which is estimated at approximately than a 1,000). However, the demand for law graduates is not confined to the legal profession alone and there is a need for legal expertise across various business and industry sectors, particularly in relation to compliance in sectors such as aviation, finance (anti-fraud), security and data analytics/protection issues.

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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