When Dmytro Gladushchenko fled from the war in Ukraine, he was a financial appraiser with vast levels of experience working in Kyiv.
Upon arriving in Ireland, he set out to be as helpful as possible. He wanted to give back for the support that he, his wife and three children received as refugees here.
Dmytro couldn’t help but notice the housing crisis in Ireland and the vacant buildings and lands all around him. He decided to take his knowledge and expand it with a Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) course in Construction Technology at Errigal College. The programme is delivered through Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service and is open to students who want an extra year to study a specific vocational area and for adults returning to education.
For Dmytro, he wanted to get his foot in the door of a new vocational area with the aim of studying Construction Technology at third-level at Atlantic University of Technology Donegal with a subsequent focus on Architecture.
Dmytro said: “If my education plan in Ireland comes to fruition, I will be able to combine my previous experience with new knowledge in the construction industry and expect to be useful in the job market and in the team with my future colleagues.”
After fleeing Kyiv, the most important thing for Dmytro was to have his family all together. He is now living in Letterkenny with his wife Tatyana and three children Anna, Oleksander and Nazar.
A career change at the age of 50 is a big step for any person, let alone in a new country and education system, but Dmytro felt he had worked in the finance industry long enough to change his profession and achieve change in his new home-from-home.
“When I came to Ireland, I saw a lot of vacant buildings and unused land in communities where I thought they should be used more efficiently and benefit their owners and be a complement to the surrounding infrastructure to improve the quality of people’s lives,” he said.
“I would very much like to play my part in the process of future positive change.”
The Construction Technology PLC is a QQI level five programme which introduces students to the construction industry. Students learn current building regulations and safety and health regulations to apply to specific construction-related projects.
Modules include architectural drawing, combined materials, engineering workshop processes as well as Erasmus+. Dmytro and his classmates travelled to Magala, Spain for 24 days of work experience focused on introducing mini solar stations. Dmytro said he particularly enjoyed this work exploring the transition to renewable and clean energy sources.
Dmytro is full of praise for his teachers at Errigal College Letterkenny.
He said: “Elaine, Kevin, Bernard, Steven, the PLC Coordinator of the course Michelle helped me cope with this course well.
“If you like to work with hand and power tools, you need this training course. The training course will give you skills in the field of drawing (this is work on paper and in the Solid Works program). That’s what I loved to do the most. You will go through all the stages of designing and creating a natural layout of your house project.
“You will learn the properties of different materials and how they can be applied in practice. This is an intellectual and manual teaching of the basic level with high quality of teaching and presentation of the material.
“Building Technology, Health and Safety, are the main subjects of this course. But subjects in Engineering, Communications and others will also be useful for studying. All subjects of the course are important and useful. I would recommend this course to those applicants who like engineering and everything related to it.”
As this one-year programme ends, Dmytro’s next goal is to complete a course to gain certification as an Energy Efficiency Appraiser (BER assessment). Despite his life being upheaved by conflict, Dmytro says he is glad to have the chance to embark on this learning journey in Ireland.
“The support that I received in Ireland is very important and in this case I highly appreciate the opportunity to study. People in Ireland are exceptional, attentive and compassionate about the misfortune faced by people from Ukraine due to the war, who came to Ireland for help and support. Ireland makes a huge contribution by helping the citizens of Ukraine in their country. I feel responsible for the help given to me and I am sincerely grateful for this to the government and people of Ireland. I want to be as useful as possible given the knowledge that I am currently gaining and that I have based on my previous training and work experience.”
The PLC, he says, is an example of how no barriers stand in the way of people retraining at any age, both for personal development and for the public good.
“Learning will definitely have a good effect on your personal qualities and will help to reveal your hidden talents. You can also find new friends and mentors. I found them and I’m glad that my life circumstances are developing exactly as they are.”
Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service is now accepting applications for this QQI Level 5 Construction Technology PLC course for September – you can apply online here: https://www.donegaletb.ie/course-detail/?CourseId=370496.
Twelve other one-year PLC courses are also available around the county starting in September in Buncrana FET Centre, Donegal Town FET Centre (Drumcliff), Killybegs (St Catherine’s Vocational School), Letterkenny (Errigal College and FET Centre (Business Park Road)) and Stranorlar (Finn Valley College). They include Animal Care; Art, Craft and Design; Business Administration; Business Studies; Early Learning and Care (two locations); E-Business; Health Service Skills; Inclusive Education and Training (Level 6); Nursing Studies, Microsoft Office Specialist Programme and Sports, Recreation and Exercise.
You can apply online through their website course finder (https://www.donegaletb.ie/fetcoursefinder/) using PLC as your keyword to find the course you want. More information on PLCs is available here: https://www.donegaletb.ie/feature/programmes/post-leaving-certificate-plc-programme/.Tags: