Apprenticeship opportunities

One of the many options outside of CAO is the apprenticeship route and one of the old reliables, the ESB Networks Apprenticeship Programme, is now open for applications.

Even though information regarding apprenticeships is available online, parents often feel they are out of the loop as regards deadlines and initiatives.

ESB is known for its high-quality apprenticeship programme, which offers on-the-job experience as well as classroom based learning. This year’s campaign is part of the ESB drive to recruit 300 apprentices between 2015 and 2020. Recruitment of up to 70 new apprentices this year will help fill predicted skills gaps. Applications remain open until March 14 and candidates must be over 16 years of age on June 1.

What an ESB Networks Apprenticeship consists of

The Electrical Apprenticeship is SOLAS standards-based, consisting of 208 weeks/four years' duration. During the four years, there are seven SOLAS phases and ESB Networks off job training. Phases 1, 3, 5, and 7 are on the job, gaining experience while working closely with a qualified network technician on site. SOLAS phases 2, 4, and 6 are off the job training modules, with phases in a SOLAS training centre and one of the IT colleges. Twenty four weeks of ESB Networks off job training takes place in the ESB Networks Training Centre in Portlaoise.

Educational qualifications

Candidates must have obtained the following minimum standards at the time of applying:

Junior Certificate (Ordinary Level ): Grade C or higher at Ordinary Level (or grade D or higher at Higher Level ) in the Junior Certificate (or equivalent ) in Irish or English; mathematics; science; and any two other subjects.

If you have not obtained the required grade in science, grade C or higher at Ordinary Level in technology, art craft and design, technical graphics, materials technology (wood ), home economics, or metalwork is acceptable.

Leaving Certificate: Grade D/O6 or higher at Ordinary Level in the Leaving Certificate (or equivalent ) in Irish or English; mathematics; a science subject (agricultural science, biology, chemistry, physics, physics and chemistry ); and any two other subjects.

If you have not obtained the required grade in any of the above science subjects, a grade D/O6 or higher at ordinary level in art, construction studies, design and communication, graphics, engineering, home economics, technical drawing and technology is acceptable.

Aptitude tests

After you submit an application you will be required to complete a series of timed aptitude tests. You must be successful in these aptitude tests to progress and be invited to the interview stage.

It greatly enhances your application to find out in advance which aptitudes are being tested and to practice these. Common aptitudes tested include spatial reasoning, arithmetic, and verbal reasoning.

Basic interview skills for school leavers

‘Tell me about yourself?’ One of the most common questions that often kicks off the interview can stump teenagers if they are not prepared for it. The key is to decide where you are going to start. There is no need at this stage to repeat your name and age as this information is in front of the interviewees. You could begin by saying what you are doing at the moment, and how that has led to an interest in what you are now applying for. You can mention subject interests, projects, or work experience and/or personal motivation.

Competence based interviews

One strategy for competency based interviews involves following the STAR model ensuring your answers have a structure.

Situation: background on the specific situation.

Task: what had to be done? Action: how you carried out the task; and Result: what was the outcome?

Common competencies investigated are communication skills, decision making and problem solving skills, team skills, and organisation skills. Prepare and rehearse examples from your life in these areas and practice with someone before the interview. Contact Margaret at 086 206 8660 - Email: [email protected]



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