Francis O' Toole Author – Careers Ireland

Students' embarking on their career journey – Is Féidir linn

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Archive for December, 2017

New release: Walking On Air

Posted by Francis O' Toole on December 13, 2017



Out on sale now

  • A page turner book about resilience
  • Short stories and poems to support positive approaches to life
  • Personal stories to support authentic  reflection on life

“All profits from proceeds of the book to go to help the Peter McVerry trust, a charity working to reduce homelessness

Purchases Walking On Air


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Posted by Francis O' Toole on December 11, 2017

The 15th January application deadline is fast approaching for UCAS.

UCAS is the centralised organisation that looks after applications to universities and third-level institutions in Britain and Northern Ireland.

When applying through UCAS, institutions will judge you based on more than just your exam results.The UCAS application involves students completing a personal statement, providing an academic reference and providing information about work experience. As well as the extra work involved in preparing an application, UCAS will send the completed application to each institution for which a student applies, for their consideration as soon as they receive it. Therefore, there is benefit to applying as early as possible.

All UCAS applications are made online through Students should first use this website to search for courses and institutions in which they may be interested. Secondly, they should contact the institution to enquire about Irish Leaving Certificate entry requirements, fees and any other requirements such as aptitude testing. Students may apply for up to five courses in a normal UCAS application.

Personal Statement

Personal statements should explain why the college should choose the applicant for the course. While including any work experience or extra-curricular activities is very important in a personal statement, applicants must also give the college an idea of their academic interests and work style.

Video: Starting your Personal Statement (UCAS)

The reference should be from someone who can comment on the student’s academic style and suitability for the course, often a subject teacher.

Visit for full details.

Thinking of Studying in the The UK? More Tips and Advice here.

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26 new national apprenticeships

Posted by Francis O' Toole on December 11, 2017


The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., and Minister of State John Halligan T.D., announced that 26 new national apprenticeships have been approved for further development in areas ranging from Animation to Healthcare.

An Apprenticeship is a programme of structured education and training which combines and alternates learning in the workplace with learning in an education and training institution and prepares participants for a specific occupation and leads to a qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications.

If you are interested to learn more about becoming an apprentice click here.

All of the new apprenticeships are flexible, ranging in duration from two years to four years and will be offered at levels 5 to 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Some 26 new apprenticeships are to be developed over the next 12-15 months. They include:

  • Applied horticulture (two years)
  • Arboriculture (two years)
  • Associate sales professional (three years)
  • CGI technical artist: animation, games, VFX (two years)
  • Equipment systems engineer (two years)
  • Farm management (four years)
  • Farm technician (two years)
  • Geo-driller (three years)
  • ICT associate professional in cybersecurity (two years)
  • Lean Sigma manager (two years)
  • Logistics associate (two years)
  • Principal engineer (four years)
  • Professional bar manager (two years)
  • Professional hairdressing (three years)
  • Professional healthcare assistant (two years)
  • Quality assurance technician (three years)
  • Quality laboratory technician (three years)
  • Senior quantity surveyor (two years)
  • Recruitment practitioner (two years)
  • Scaffolding (three years)
  • Software system designer (two years)
  • Sport turf management ( two years)
  • Stud farm management (two years)
  • Supply chain associate (three years)
  • Supply chain manager (two years)
  • Supply chain specialist (two years)

Concluding from Budget 2018, €122m will be available for apprenticeship training, an increase of almost 24% on the previous year thus allowing the delivery of 10 more apprenticeship programmes and over 6,000 more apprenticeship registrations in 2018.

Visit for apprentice opportunities and information for employers on how to register and hire an apprentice.

If you are interested in viewing the current list of apprentices available can do so by clicking here

Video: Oisin Murphy – Apprentice Carpenter


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Going to College: There’s a very good reason why the golden rule of the CAO is to list courses in order of preference

Posted by Francis O' Toole on December 6, 2017


I will continue to repeat this statement all year – and again next year – because it is, perhaps, the most important rule of the CAO. It is as fundamental as our times’ tables in maths and basic spelling in English. If students remember nothing but this from their careers’ class, then at least they have learned something.

But every year, some students forget, or ignore, this most basic of rules. Every August, they call the National Parents’ Council helpline hoping they can change to a course they have listed in a lower position than the one they are offered. And every year the answer is no. No, it is not possible to change courses for one listed as a lower order of preference.

The CAO allows applicants to list their course choices in two lists, with 10 places for Level 8 (honours degree) courses and 10 places for Level 7/6 (ordinary degree/higher certificate) courses.

Applicants may list as many courses as they like, up to a maximum of 10 on each list, and they may return, up until July 1 next, to add and delete courses or change the order.

The CAO asks that all applicants complete their course lists in “genuine order of preference”. Therefore, it presumes that the course applicants have listed first on their list is the one they want more than any other.


Once the CAO receives an applicant’s exam results, they will review their lists of courses and offer the applicant the one which they have put highest on their CAO form, for which they have made all entry requirements and points.

If an applicant achieves the subject requirements and points to receive an offer for the course they have listed in first place, then this will be the only offer they receive.




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