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 Damien Dollard from Civil and Public Service Jobs to give some advice for people considering this job:


Damien Dollard

Clerical Officer

Civil and Public Service Jobs

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  Damien Dollard
If someone was to ask me for advice about applying for this job I would say register on The job is open to anyone to apply and it is a very good working environment. The person applying should be willing to develop him or herself no matter what their age.

Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Construction Professional & Associate Professional Occupations

Key points for selected construction professional and associate professional occupations

  • In 2014, there were approximately 19,000 persons employed in the selected construction professional and associate professional occupations, representing 1% of total national employment (Figure 9.9.1)
  • Almost 85% of overall employment was at professional level
  • Just over 60% of overall employment was concentrated in professional, scientific and technical activities (mostly architectural and engineering activities), a further 15% was in public administration and defence; only 4% was in construction
  • Between 2009 and 2014, employment in the selected occupations contracted at an average annual rate of 3.5%, compared to the national average rate of 0.5%; employment contracted for all occupations (excluding the combined group ─ architectural technologists, construction project managers & surveyors); the strongest pace of decline was recorded for architects & town planners (8.4% on average annually) and civil engineers (3.5% on average annually)
  • Over the five-year period, overall employment levels contracted by almost 4,000; the most pronounced absolute employment decrease was recorded for architects & town planners (Figure 9.9.2)
  • While overall employment expanded by 2.1% between 2013 and 2014, employment levels remained relatively static
  • Approximately 90% of all employed construction professionals were aged 25- 54; the share was almost 80% for construction associate professionals
  • Almost 95% of construction professionals in employment were third level graduates; the share was 76% for construction associate professionals
  • Most persons employed in each occupation were male; the workforce of architects & town planners had the highest representation of females, at almost one-third.

Shortage Indicators

Following several quiet years in relation to the demand for construction skills, a number of vacancies for construction professionals and technicians were observed in 2014. While some vacancies were arising due to replacement demand and turnover within employment, growth in construction activity has also been a contributor. The seasonally adjusted volume of production index in building and construction has been gradually increasing since 2012. In fact, growth is expected to accelerate in absolute and relative terms over the medium term, as the sector recovers from the collapse which followed the bursting of the housing bubble.

The initial growth has been concentrated in commercial construction and resulted from expansion in other sectors, namely biopharma/ medical, utilities and ICT. Further growth in commercial building is confirmed by recent job announcement (e.g. Bausch and Lomb (pharma manufacturing), EPS (water and wastewater treatment), Apple (new data centre)).

Growth in residential construction is also expected to gather pace, given recent signals from the property market: the monthly residential property price index has been increasing almost continuously since March 2013 (albeit some price stabilisation was observed in recent months) and the volume of production index has been increasing since quarter 1 2014.

There is significant graduate output from construction related courses (over 1,500 annually at level 8 or above). In addition, some overhang of construction skills is still present (in May 2015, there were 200 job ready civil engineers and 160 architects seeking employment). The supply from these sources is likely to be sufficient to meet the requirement in the short run.

Nonetheless, shortages of the following skills have already been identified:

  • Construction and quantity surveyors
  • BIM (building information modelling, CAD).


Labour Market Research 19

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

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
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.
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).
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)
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
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
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-
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.
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.
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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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