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 Stephen Stapleton from Bank of Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:


Stephen Stapleton

Business Advisor

Bank of Ireland


  Stephen Stapleton
My advice to someone considering a job in a financial institution would be to do some research. There are many areas to choose from in Bank of Ireland, from branch banking to marketing, and there are many starting points to build a lifelong career in a rewarding and challenging environment.

I would recommend that someone should work hard for their Leaving Cert to attain good results. The most important thing about working in a bank is to have good customer service skills, from here everything else will fall in to place.

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Administrative and Secretarial Occupations

Key points for selected Administrative and Secretarial Occupations

  • There were approximately 145,000 persons employed in administrative and secretarial occupations, accounting for almost 8% of Ireland’s workforce 
  • Employment was distributed across all sectors of the economy; at 25%, the highest share was in public administration and defence (approximately 80% of employment in government administrative occupations was in this sector) 
  • Employment in the selected occupations declined by 4.5% on average annually over the period 2007-2012, translating into approximately 38,000 net job losses; the strongest decline was recorded for P.A.s, which decreased by 6.8% on average annually; in contrast, the slowest pace of contraction was for records and library clerks (-0.8% on average annually, employment levels remained virtually static)
  • Between 2011 and 2012, overall employment contracted by 3.6% on average annually, with 5,500 net job losses recorded
  • At least 66% of all persons employed in each occupation was aged 25-54; the age profile of the workforce of receptionists was the youngest, with 14% aged 15-24; in contrast, it was the most mature for records and library clerks, with just over 25% of all employed persons aged 55 or older 
  • Just over one half of all persons employed in administrative and secretarial occupations held higher secondary/FET qualifications, exceeding the national average of 38%; the share with third level qualifications ‒ at almost 40% ‒ was below the national average of 46%; receptionists had the lowest level of educational attainment, with 15% of those employed holding lower secondary or less qualifications 
  • Employment in each occupation was predominantly female 
  • The prevalence of part-time work was the highest for receptionists and records and library clerks ‒ approximately two fifths of all persons employed in each of these occupations worked part-time

Shortage Indicators

There is currently no shortage of administrative and secretarial skills in Ireland. Nonetheless, there are indications that some roles, limited to certain niche areas, are proving difficult to fill:
  • multilingual accounts payable clerks
  • specialist admin staff in transport/logistics (especially with German language skills)
  • credit control clerks

Labour Market Research 14

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

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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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Current Labour Market related information  3

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
Irish Independant News - Labour Market 
Current news relating to the Irish Labour market.

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