Francis O' Toole Author – Careers Ireland

Students' embarking on their career journey – Is Féidir linn

  • September 2019
    M T W T F S S
    « Aug    
  • Blog Stats

    • 233,173 hits
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 698 other followers

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Going to College: Feeling confused already? Check out the resources to help students and parents

Posted by Francis O' Toole on November 28, 2018

Guidance counsellor Aoife Walsh1
Guidance counsellor Aoife Walsh

In this busy year for sixth year students and, from time to time, sit can be helpful to take stock of where we are. The first deadline for UCAS has passed, the CAO has opened for applications, we are seeing the first of the PLC colleges opening for applicants and most open days, especially ones in the larger colleges, have taken place.

If applicants are beginning to feel confused about their choices, that is ok! Often confusion comes before a decision and it just means we are really thinking about our options. For parents, especially those going through Leaving Cert for the first time, it can be even more confusing. There are ample excellent resources available for any person who wishes to educate themselves on this process, including some aimed specifically at parents who want to support their child.


All parents should take time to read the CAO handbook. Your child will have been provided with one in school and there is a PDF version on the CAO website. In addition, the CAO has published a parents’ guide, which is available through the student resource section of the website. Here, you will also find a demo application, where students and parents can familiarise themselves with the application form. There are also video guides available to explain the offers and acceptance process as well why it is important to list courses by order of preference. – Parents

This website has everything needed for college and careers choices and there is a dedicated section for parents. It contains everything from how to talk to their son or daughter, how to choose a career and apply to college and even how to cope after making the wrong choice. Everything you might ever need is here in one place and it is a great place to start for any novice or even experienced senior cycle parent. – Course Search

A relatively new addition to my bag of tricks, this is my go-to course search tool. I like it for a number of reasons: it links with the REACH programme, which many guidance counsellors use in careers’ class; it’s easy to flick between the CAO and the further education sector; it is clearly laid out and offers detailed course descriptions. What I like most are the filters – students can exclude courses from certain areas of the country or courses that require certain subjects, or seek courses that match their ‘career interest’ results (the career interest test is available on the site). Applicants can save their courses in an easy-to-use personal file, which can be revisited.

Applying for medicine

The ‘applying for medicine’ PDF available on the CAO website offers a summary of how the CAO points and HPAT systems work, as well as giving the entry requirements for every medical degree in the country and more. There is also a version for graduate medicine. Both are essential and easy reading for anyone considering entering this field of study, and for any parent trying to support a prospective applicant.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Careers News

Posted by Francis O' Toole on October 15, 2018



  1. The rise of Artificial Intelligence in China
  2. What use is the Internet of Things?
  3. Project to help Parents teach Computing
  4. UCC Announce new Lectureship in Plant Genetics
  5. Inclusive Practice Pyramid – Disability Support in Third Level
  6. Apprenticeship Fees
  7. Think Waterford for Work
  8. UL Newsletter
  9. Computing Workshops for Teachers
  10. Polar Exploration Vehicle made of Recycled Materials
  11. LYIT welcomes €0.25 Million funding for Cross-border Further and Higher Education Cluster


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Logistics Apprenticeship

Posted by Francis O' Toole on October 4, 2018

Ireland's First Ever Logistics Apprenticeship Launched by DIT
Ireland’s First Ever Logistics Apprenticeship Launched by DIT

Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) launched Ireland’s first ever Logistics Apprenticeship aimed at addressing the skills gap in the industry while providing ‘earn as you learn’ opportunities to schools leavers and mature students.

Apprentices work four days a week and then spend a day in DIT College of Business on Aungier Street.

Over the two-year programme, students will develop the skills necessary for Logistics Associates, who are responsible for coordinating the movement of goods in a company, including the planning and coordinating of all warehousing and transportation activities in the supply chain.

The Logistics Associate Apprenticeship was announced by the Ministers Richard Burton TD and John Halligan TD last year as part of the government’s Action Plan for Education.

18 employers and 26 apprentices from across the Freight, Transport, Distribution and Logistics sector are participating in the programme on a day-release basis.

How to apply:

To begin an apprenticeship, you must be employed in your chosen occupation by an approved employer. To be accepted, you must be at least 16 years of age and have a minimum of grade D in any five subjects in the Junior Certificate. Interested candidates can find out more about the Logistics Associate Apprenticeship here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Careers News

Posted by Francis O' Toole on October 4, 2018


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Walking On Air

Posted by Francis O' Toole on September 22, 2018


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




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Careers News

Posted by Francis O' Toole on September 22, 2018


  1. Government prioritizes teaching of foreign languages
  2. Sony aims to go for fully renewable energy
  3. Creating Accessible Documents
  4. New Edition of Games Development Book
  5. Study “Book of Kells” Online
  6. New Agricultural Science degree at University College Cork
  7. Smartphones in Schools
  8. NUI Galway Open Days
  9. GMIT Green Campus Open Day
  10. Basic Income Ireland
  11. Night Classes in North Kerry College
  12. Guidance Counsellor Position in Dublin
  13. Degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Ireland’s National Workplace Wellbeing Day, April 13th 2018

Posted by Francis O' Toole on April 11, 2018

National Workplace Wellbeing Day is in its fourth consecutive year, over 500 businesses got involved in 2017. Companies of all sizes and from all sectors are now planning their activities for what promises to be the biggest celebration of workplace health and wellbeing in the Irish calendar.

I encourage companies and individuals to  embrace Mindfulness – an easy way to deal with stress and promote wellbeing.  The following two exercise: Body scan and raisin exercise are guided meditations to help you create awareness of your needs and reach your full potential.

Mindfulness –  What is a body scan meditation?


Mindfulness – The raisin exercise – 12 Minute exercise

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

SUSI – Grants – college students

Posted by Francis O' Toole on April 11, 2018

Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) – the centralised grant application scheme for college students, reopens for both new and renewal applications as of –  Thursday 5th April 2018.

Application Process

SUSI administers the student grant scheme in its entirety. Last year SUSI processed 103,000 applications with in excess of 81,000 students awarded grant funding for the 2017/18 academic year.

Who can apply

Eligible students in approved full-time, third-level education in Ireland and, in some cases, students studying outside the State can access grant funding. All types of students, from school leavers to mature students returning to education can apply.

Any student who thinks they might be eligible for a SUSI grant is urged to submit their application online to SUSI as soon as possible to ensure that it is processed as quickly as possible.

The priority closing dates for the 2018/19 student grant scheme are:

  • 12th July for new applicants
  • 14th June for renewals from students already in college.

Note: As a new grant applicant, you do not need to have accepted a place on a college course in order to apply for a grant. You can do this later in the process.

The student grant scheme is quite a detailed application process so it is crucial that you apply as early as possible if you plan to take-up a course of study this year. Grant applications are processed in the order in which they are received, so the earlier you apply and get any supporting documents required submitted to SUSI, the earlier you will have a response on the outcome of your application to put your mind at ease when it comes to starting college.

SUSI Communications and Information Services Manager, Aoife Greene said, “We advise students to visit our website and use our Eligibility Reckoner before making their application. This will give them an indication as to their eligibility for student grant funding. We also have a number of self-help tools available on our website, including videos and detailed guidance notes for making an application.

“It is important to reiterate that students who are progressing to the next year of their course must renew their grants and we have e-mailed students in the lead up to opening to inform them of the process for renewing. The priority closing date for renewal applications is 14th June, 2018.”


For full details and online application see

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

2018 Applications to HEAR and DARE

Posted by Francis O' Toole on March 22, 2018


CAO applicants wishing to be considered for HEAR or DARE have until 1st April to submit all their supporting documentation to CAO to complete their application to one or both of the access routes.

What is HEAR and DARE?

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education. The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is an admissions scheme set up to support school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are resident in the Republic of Ireland. HEAR and DARE schemes offer places on reduced points and extra college support to students throughout their third level education.

2018 Applications to HEAR and DARE

According to CAO figures released earlier this month the number of students who applied for DARE entry this year increased whereas the figures for HEAR were down. Overall the applications for CAO are down by over 3,000. This is a 4.5% decrease on the numbers applying in 2017.

DARE figures have steadily increased since 2010, the rate of eligibility for DARE is up by over 200% on the numbers eligible 8 years ago. 2018 has continued the upward trend with DARE applications up by 2.9% on 2017, despite the decline in applications to CAO this year. Increased applications in recent years may be influenced by the addition of three new colleges engaging in the DARE scheme: Carlow IT, IADT and LIT. Overall 2018 has seen 6,571 students apply for DARE; that accounts for 9% of all CAO applications.

The story is somewhat different for HEAR. Like DARE, HEAR also experienced growth. During the same period as mentioned for DARE, 2010-16, the eligibility rate for HEAR increased by 100% but since 2014 the figures for HEAR appear to have reached a plateau. Two new colleges have entered the HEAR scheme in 2017, IADT and IT Sligo. Despite the increased pool for application, this year’s numbers for HEAR are down by a significant 8.9%

Number Applying for HEAR are Down by 8.9%

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Careers News

Posted by Francis O' Toole on March 22, 2018


  1. WIT Students Stories
  2. Technological Universities Act Signed
  3. DCU to go Plastic Free
  4. Arriving at a Sustainable Future
  5. DIT Mathematics Competency Test
  6. Applicant Information Event – Magee Campus
  7. Plunket CFE Information Day
  8. Extra Places on Teacher Training Courses
  9. Supported Transitions to Employment
  10. New Courses in Film Business
  11. 2019 HPAT Preparation Courses
  12. Training Programme In Family Therapy


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »