With so much attention on the CAO, you may be forgiven if you have overlooked the fact that there is a wealth of careers that can be accessed outside the CAO system…

SOLAS– http://www.solas.ie :     The new Further Education and Training Authority. It offers training and further education programmes to both jobseekers looking for employment and employees wishing to improve their skills. Part-time, full-time, day and evening courses for jobseekers. In addition, specific skills training for industry and the Traineeship programme, which combines formal training with workplace coaching, are also available.


Apprenticeships – http://www.fas.ie/en/Training/Apprenticeships/default.htm :     You can train to become a plasterer or electrician. While you are training, you work with an employer learning the necessary skills and receive a wage. Most apprenticeships last 4 years. Apprentices must be at least 16 years of age and have a minimum of grade D in any five subjects in the Junior Certificate or equivalent. However, employers may require additional minimum qualifications. To apply for a place on an apprenticeship, you must first register with your local Intreo centre. You will be interviewed to   identify the course that will best suit your needs. Due to the pressure on some courses, you may not get a place on the course of your choice.

An Garda Siochana – http://www.garda.ie :     Applications for the position of Garda Trainee are made by way of an online application process which is managed by the Public Appointments Service. To receive notification of forthcoming Garda Trainee recruitment campaigns as they arise, you must register as a member of http://www.publicjobs.ie. School leavers may apply but passes are required in Maths, either English or Irish and another language. Leaving Cert. Applied students must have achieved a merit grade. The height requirement has been replaced with a physical competency test. Applicants must undergo an   aptitude test, will be called for competitive interview.

Defence Forces— http://www.military.iejoin the army, air corps, navy—Recruitment competitions are held as required—check out website for further information.

Teagasc –  www.teagasc.ie

If you wish to make a career in agriculture, horticulture, horses or forestry. There is no minimum   educational requirement. These courses offer a wide range of career options in the expanding amenity         horticulture and forestry sectors. Paid work experience is an integral part of these courses. Participants who achieve the   necessary results may transfer to third level and progress up to level 7/ 8 degree level

Institutes of further education

These practical courses, mostly with FETAC awards are designed to prepare students for employment or progression into further studies in 3rd Level Colleges.

There are often still places on FE courses and even if you haven’t applied, you can do so now by contacting the local Colleges.