Donegal ETB gives Raphoe woman the confidence boost to begin new career

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A Donegal woman is settling into a new job after gaining the skills and confidence to return to work with Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB).

Teresa Duffy from Raphoe had worked in retail prior to the pandemic. Once her children went to college, she decided it was time for a change.

To get the qualifications for a new start, Teresa enrolled in an Office Administration traineeship with Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service, which offers modules in Medical / Legal Administration. The full-time course is delivered in Letterkenny over one year. 

Despite not having been back to education since her Leaving Cert, Teresa soon found her footing and made lifelong friends within the supportive learning environment.

“My goal was to do my modules, finish the course and get a certificate at the end of it, showing that I’m able to go back to learn,” Teresa said.

“You’re never too old to learn,” she says. “It took me a couple of weeks to get settled in, the group was great and very helpful. It’s all about teamwork. People bounce off each other and the younger students really came out of their shells.”

The traineeship equips students with a wealth of practical skills. From audio transcription and medical records management to customer service and effective office communication, she acquired the expertise she needed to succeed in a professional setting. 

 Teresa said she particularly benefited from the presentations and teamwork elements.

“Speaking to the class would have helped me with my confidence and to get back into the workplace as an adult,” she said.

“That, and practising different scenarios, such as managing an irate customer, taught us good listening skills.

“The modules were very helpful for preparing you to go out into the working world.”

The traineeship also teaches computer skills tailored to office communications, such as Microsoft Word and Outlook.

Teresa’s positive experience with her teacher, Paul McGettigan, further highlighted the benefits of further education and training. There is a mutual understanding between the teacher and the students that everyone can work together to reach their goals. 

Teresa explained: “Because the course is for adults, they try to cover everything in the classroom so that when you go home in the evening you don’t have anything more to do. I found that was really good, it’s not like being at school. The onus is on you as an adult if you want to learn and I personally spent a small bit of extra time studying at home.”

According to Teresa, their teacher Paul McGettigan was very approachable and always available to help.

“He had so much patience,” Teresa said.

The work practice module in the traineeship gave Teresa a flavour of both medical and solicitors’ offices. Just a month after completing the programme, she was employed by Donegal ETB’s Apprenticeship office. 

“I love the work. Every day is just a school day for me. With apprenticeships, you are bringing in the younger generation and trying to help them. I have a lot of learning to do yet within the job but I love the whole atmosphere and friendship.”

Teresa and her colleagues at Donegal ETB’s Apprenticeship office. L-R Laura Darby, Claire Lernihan, Teresa Duffy, Lorraine Murray and Claire Gillepsie

If you’re seeking a fresh start or looking to enhance your career prospects, Donegal ETB’s FET Service offers a wide range of courses tailored to meet your needs. 

Teresa’s Medical/Legal Administration (Office Administration) traineeship is now open for September applications – you can apply online here: or check the wide range of low cost or free FET options on your doorstep here

Traineeships are co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union. #EUinMyRegion

Donegal ETB gives Raphoe woman the confidence boost to begin new career was last modified: February 6th, 2024 by Rachel McLaughlin


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