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 Gail Sterio from McDonald's to give some advice for people considering this job:


Gail Sterio

Corporate Accountant



  Gail Sterio
You need experience in the accounting function for this particular job, especially financial accounting. You have to be able to work closely with others in a team and within cross funtional teams. You need to be qualified as an accountant. and to have to have numerical skills.

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Key points for selected operatives and related occupations

  • There were approximately 70,000 persons employed in operative occupations, accounting for 3.8% of Ireland’s workforce
  • Employment of operatives was concentrated in manufacturing (mainly food and beverages; machinery and equipment; and high-tech manufacturing (e.g. pharmaceuticals))
  • In contrast to an average annual fall of 3% in national employment between 2007 and 2012, overall employment of operatives grew very modestly (by 0.5% on average annually); the number of jobs created exceeded the number of job losses, resulting in a net 1,600 additional jobs; the strongest growth was for food, drink & tobacco operatives, increasing by 20.4% on average annually (+8,600 jobs); in contrast, the strongest negative growth was for plant and machine operatives (- 12.4% on average annually (6,400 fewer jobs) 
  • Between 2011 and 2012, overall employment of operatives contracted by almost 6%, resulting in just over 4,000 fewer net jobs; most of the job losses were for chemical and related process operatives
  • With approximately one quarter of those employed aged 55 or over, construction operatives had the most mature workforce among operative occupations 
  • The overall education profile of operatives was skewed towards lower educational attainment: with the exception of food, drink & tobacco operatives and assemblers, at least one fifth (and, in the case of construction operatives, almost a half) of all employed operatives had not competed higher secondary education
  • The share of non-Irish nationals in employment in each operative occupation (except for chemical and construction operatives) exceeded the national average; at 39%, the highest share was for food, drink and tobacco operatives 
  • With the exception of assemblers and routine operatives, the workforce of each occupation was predominantly male; for assemblers and routine operatives, it was almost gender balanced

Shortage Indicators

There is currently no shortage of operative skills in Ireland

Labour Market Research 13

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

EGFSN - Report for HE Providers on Springboard 2014 / ICT Level 8 Conversion Programme 
February 2014 Report "Guidance for Higher Education providers on current and future skills needs of enterprise - Springboard 2014 / ICT Level 8 Conversion Programme"
Addressing Future Demand for High-level ICT Skills (EGFSN) 
Study forecasting the demand for high-level ICT skills to 2018, across all sectors of the economy in Ireland.
The Green Economy in Ireland (EGFSN) 
This study identifies the future skills needs of enterprise engaged within the green economy in Ireland and proposes a range of measures to ensure that their future skills base will drive business and employment growth. The study informs education and tra
National Skills Bulletin 2013 
Current National Skills Bulletin, providing a detailed overview of the Irish labour market. It is based on research conducted by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit of FÁS (Now SOLAS)on behalf of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.
Vacancy Overview 2012 
Released Feb. 2013 by the skills and Labour Market Unit of FAS (now SOLAS) on behalf of the EGFSN, the report outlines areas where job vacancies arose during 2012 and areas where demand continues to exist
CSO - Central Statistics Office 
This is the primary source of statistical information about our population. Several of the reports generated by the CSO provide the basis of most other reports on the Labour Market.
Forfás - Ireland's national policy and advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation 
Forfás provides the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation (formerly Enterprise, Trade and Employment - DETE) and other stakeholders with analysis, advice and support on issues related to enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation.
Skills and Labour Market Reports 
A list of current Publications directly related to Labour Market conditions produced jointly by SOLAS (formerly FAS) and the EGFSN
EGFSN - Expert Group on Future Skills Needs 
The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) is a body appointed by the Irish Government to advise it on aspects of education and training related to the future skills requirements of the enterprise sector of the Irish economy.
HEA - Higher Education Authority 
This link points to some of the Statistical data created by the HEA relating to our Higher Education system.
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Current Labour Market related information  2

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

IBEC Quarterly Economic Trends 
Download publication in PDF format.
Irish Independant News - Labour Market 
Current news relating to the Irish Labour market.

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