Donegal ETB: Laura’s Story

Specific Skills Training

Donegal ETB welding student Laura Mulkeen holding welding helmet Photo Credit: Ruth Connelly
Laura Mulkeen Photo Credit: Ruth Connelly

Donegal ETB Specific Skills welding learner Laura Mulkeen built up a career in event management over ten years in Dublin and Belfast. While she enjoyed her work, when she moved to Donegal for family reasons, she found herself unemployed and decided to rethink her options dramatically.  

Having taken up blacksmithing as a hobby, Laura signed up to a Basic Welding class with Donegal ETB. The trade really appealed to her love of practical, craft-focused work and she has since gone on to complete Intermediate Welding and Coded Pipe Welding courses, all coming under the category of Specific Skills Training.

Describing the career change, Laura said, “Taking up welding with Donegal ETB is the best decision I’ve ever made. I had always wanted to take up a trade but was pushed down the academic route. The ETB has helped me realise that I’m much more at home in the workshop than in the office.

Despite having never welded before the basic course, I’m now a Coded Pipe Welder and really love what I do. Although welding is still a male-dominated industry, the ETB is hugely supportive of women in trades. The instructors and facilities are world-class and I couldn’t have asked for a better environment to learn in.”

Laura has since started working for an engineering company and is looking forward to building her skills further.

Specific Skills Training is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund.

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