I just want something to pay the bills - where do I start to look?

Q: I run a small shop but, alas, it’s fading. I will have to close it very soon before it eats into my savings. I’m at a stage in my life - both age-wise and in terms of personal priorities - where I am not pushed about finding ‘my dream career’. Really, I just want a job to pay the bills so I can indulge my hobbies. I am prepare to do some training, but would need to know the prospects. How do I find out which sectors might prove worthwhile?

A: To thine own self, be true: I am conscious when writing this column that not everyone believes their career to be the be-all and end-all of their lives.

A good place for you to start might be on the Solas labour market information web link:http://lmi.fas.ie/

Here you can browse various pieces of relevant information. Say you’re thinking about being a painter and decorator. The click-through for this occupation reveals some interesting information.

1. The unemployment rate is above average in this group.

2. No skill shortages have been identified.

3. Employment growth prospects are above average.

Clearly, the third point above might attract your attention. The supplementary comment alongside elaborates as follows:

“Strong anticipated growth in construction activity over the medium term will create demand for construction craft skills. Initially, job opportunities will arise due to the construction of facilities to accommodate expansion in the bio-pharma and ICT sectors. These activities are already creating strong demand for some construction craft skills, such as industrial plumbers. However, the demand for most construction craft skills will be more pronounced when the recovery in residential development gathers pace, given the greater labour intensity of this sub-sector. While no shortage of construction skills have been identified at present and an overhang of these skills still exists, the demand and supply of tradespersons should be closely monitored. (Note: Unless otherwise stated these comments are based on the findings published in the National Skills Bulletin 2014 ).”

So that’s a start made on researching one career. That might prompt you to carry out further research - talk to a local employer in this sector, for example, or keep an eye on adverts on local newspapers, radios, recruitment websites, and supermarket noticeboards. And just ask around: ask friends if they know of anything going in that area.

Let’s look at another occupational group - care workers and home carers. The site tells us the following:

1. Unemployment rate is below average.

2. Some skill shortages have been identified.

3. Employment growth prospects are above average.

Supplementary comment:

“While there are no shortages of carers at present, it is recognised that some employers may be experiencing difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified care and child-care workers. Employment in publicly funded care is likely to continue to be negatively affected by the ongoing fiscal austerity, whereas some job creation has recently been announced in the private sector (eg Irish Homecare ). The demand for care workers is expected to grow due to demographic factors. The CSO projects that by 2046, the population aged 65 and over could represent up to 28 per cent of the total population, compared with 12 per cent in 2011. The extent to which this translates into employment growth will largely depend on Government policy.”

Again, that can form the basis for further exploration by you.

Sli Nua Careers (www.SliNuaCareers.com ) have offices in Athlone (090 ) 6403003, Galway, Mayo (Crossmolina and Ballinrobe ), Dublin, and Limerick. Their services include CV preparation, interview training, job-searching strategies, and career direction. For more details, visit www.slinuacareers.com/athlone

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