It’s all systems go at Donegal ETB this year as they enrol for upcoming courses in the Information and communication technology (ICT).
Donegal was recently described as a leading area of the ‘mini Silicon Valley’ in the North West. Employers are seeking people with digital skills, so Donegal ETB is responding to this need by ensuring their Further Education and Training (FET) give learners the necessary skills for the best job opportunities.
A wide range of part-time and full-time courses run in the ICT area from entry right up to professional level at Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training centres. Many of these courses are industry certified and endorsed by employers.
Donegal Daily spoke with two past learners to find out how they gained the computer knowledge they needed to find fulfilling jobs in the digital era.
“Employers seem to look for learners from ETB courses,” said Muriel Shields, who completed the Multimedia Donegal programme in 2017.
Muriel had been working in retail management for 31 years before she was made redundant in 2016. She began upskilling with Donegal ETB as soon as she signed on the register.
Muriel completed a Business Admin Skills evening course before registering for the ECDL.
“I had done computer work in my previous job but I knew I needed to modernise my skills. Our tutor Martin Duffy was a fantastic support. There is a lot of online learning with tutors always there to answer questions.”
The multimedia course covers a wide range of computer programmes including Microsoft Office. From this year of study, Muriel gained the skills to work in an Accountancy Office and later with the ETB administration department.
“The ETB are so focused on helping you find employment. They help you with your CV, teach you how to attend an interview and how to answer awkward interview questions. My tutor often notified me of local job openings that suited my skillset and I had up to 10 interviews in the last year. It was a great confidence booster.”
Now that Muriel works with Donegal ETB she says that the supportive community runs throughout.
“I would definitely recommend learning with the ETB. A lot of people don’t realise how much is on offer. The support is incredible, everyone wanted to help each other and better themselves.”
Shane Curran from Letterkenny never believed he’d be working in IT Support after just two years of training. The former mechanic completed an IT Support course with Donegal ETB in 2014. Thanks to the work placement within the course, he now has a well-suited job that he loves.
The hands-on learning approach suited Shane best, he said: “I came from being trained as a mechanic. When I was laid off in 2009, I wanted to learn more about IT Support.
“We started from the very basics, building on one skill at a time. Before you knew it you had a whole array of skills behind you. The tutor Greg Gillespie went above and beyond to prepare us for the real world of working in IT, where you need that hands-on skill set.
“An important part is that they teach you how to deal with people. You might encounter a stressed out secretary or office team and nothing is working for them, so you have to know how to calm them down and solve the problem.”
Shane applied all his skills from the ETB to his six month work placement in the Letterkenny University Hospital. After the course, he planned to upskill more with the LYIT, but when he got the call about a job opening at LUH he didn’t hesitate to take on the role.
“I always knew this was the job that suited me,” Shane said.
For anyone thinking about learning with the ETB, Shane’s advice is to go for it. “If you want to learn how to fix computers hands on and know how they work you should go to the ETB. I can’t praise it enough.”
Donegal ETB have some new exciting full-time courses on the way in September, mainly Automated Software Tester and Cloud Platform and Infrastructure traineeships. The programmes are all developed to meet employer needs as a result of the ICT / FinTech Skills Report on the future requirements of local employers for recruitment, training and education.
Donegal ETB’s FET Service offers a wide range of full-time and part-time courses in the field of ICT right across the county. On a full-time basis these include Information Processing (Buncrana), ICT for Employment and Further and Higher Education (Letterkenny), Software Developer (Letterkenny) and Multimedia (Buncrana, Letterkenny) all at Level 5.
Part-Time programmes include Level 2 Basic Computer Skills, Essential IT (Letterkenny), Level 3 Information and Communications Technology (Castlefin, Lifford, Stranorlar) and Level 4 Pathway to Employment and FET with Digital Skills in Buncrana and in Letterkenny, Computer Basics / Literacy, Advanced Web Design, Java Foundations, Microsoft MTA Database Administration Fundamentals and ECDL (also in Donegal Town).
Visit www.donegaletb.ie to find more information about ICT programmes with Donegal ETB starting in September 2018 throughout Donegal or email email@example.com with course inquiries.
Many of Donegal ETB’s FET courses are co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.Tags: