Taking on a Welding and Engineering course at Donegal ETB opens up a world of job possibilities for learners. Those who train with Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service gain internationally-recognised certs and advanced skills that are in high demand by employers.
To find out more about the programmes, Donegal Daily talked to two past learners, who are now both working in the UK.
With basic, intermediate and pipe welding qualifications in their back pockets, Donegal men Jamie Lee Loftus and Danny Doherty have been employed by specialist mechanical engineering firm Melleko.
“It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done,” said Jamie Lee from Carndonagh. “Welding is a great skill to have. I have it for a lifetime and there’s plenty of work.
“The courses are well-known around Ireland, and all your papers and qualifications are recognised around the world.”
Jamie Lee became a skilled welder with the tutorship of Donegal ETB’s welding instructor Cathal McGee. After his Intermediate course he was chosen to compete in the All-Ireland Welding competition. “It was a big stepping stone and a learning curve,” he said.
“When I finished up, I started working and getting great experience. Now, I work at pipe engineering on refrigeration installations all over England and Scotland.”
Course instructor Cathal McGee spoke of the many job opportunities learners will gain through welding. He said: “There is a serious shortage of skilled welders nationally and internationally. Engineering is a big employer in the North West Region and we often get calls from employers looking for skilled workers.
“We have good connections with local employers and have state-of-the-art equipment to deliver training to meet the skills shortage,” said Mr McGee
This year Donegal ETB also established a new Traineeship in Engineering Operations currently taking place in Letterkenny, but also available in Buncrana and Killybegs in the autumn which was developed in partnership with many of the welding and engineering companies around the county.
“Donegal ETB are the leaders in technology enhanced learning with the recent purchase of an augmented Virtual Reality welding machine. This is the future of welding training and we were the first ETB in Ireland to have such a facility. We offer full-time day and part-time night classes in all aspects of welding both for unemployed and employed people,” said. Mr McGee.
Danny Doherty from Letterkenny, who finished the Coded Pipe Welding course four months ago, says he is ‘happy as can be’ in his career.
“You’ll 100% get a job out of training at Donegal ETB. You get your cert and you can walk into a job any time and anywhere.”
Danny said the dedicated instructors including Cathal McGee and Lewis Regan, gave all their time and effort to ensure learners had perfected their skills for the job.
“Welding is like a sport. It’s tricky, you need all the practice you can get. The course is very practical” Danny said.
“My grandad was a welder and I was interested in it too. I did the basic course before moving to Canada for two years. When I came back, I knew I wanted to finish it off and be a pipe welder.”
“Now that I’m working I’m as happy as I can be. I love the work and the Donegal ETB courses gave me this opportunity.”
Visit www.donegaletb.ie to find more information about Welding programmes with Donegal ETB starting from September 2018 in Letterkenny and Gaoth Dobhair or email firstname.lastname@example.org with course inquiries.
Specific Skills Training 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: