Meet Laura Mulkeen – A Bright Spark of the Welding World
Pictures by Ruth Connolly, courtesy of TotallyDublin.
Laura Mulkeen loved the creativity involved in the event management career she had built over ten years. Originally from Derry, she had been working in the busy industry in Dublin and Belfast. Laura enjoyed her work, but there had been a niggling feeling of unfulfillment. So, having moved to Donegal due to family reasons, and finding herself unemployed, she 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.
She tells us "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. Laura recently spoke to Totally Dublin about some of the challenges faced by women in trades.
The instructors and facilities are world-class and I couldn’t have asked for a better environment to learn in.
Having graduated a few weeks ago, Laura has now started her first pipe welding job - on one of the country's biggest building sites - the new Technichal University of Dublin campus in Grangegorman.
That should keep her busy for a while.
For information on welding or other Further Education and Training courses, click here.