As Dúchas Dóchas utilises the local talents and resources of the area and offers a wide range of training and experience to trainees. The trainees work in small teams on various topics and are interchanged regularly. Practical training includes Information Technology, Historical research, Ethnomusicology, Assertiveness and Self-Presentation, and Web Page and Internet Training.
Trainees have been given the opportunity to assert themselves in both written and verbal forms of communication. Presentation techniques have been taught and tested and debates on current events have been used instil confidence in self-expression in each member of the group. To represent the theory of different writing styles, sample newsletters and essay/short story writing have been used to show where these styles can be put into practice. Also related to these, Curriculum Vitae writing and job interview techniques have been discussed and an element of role-play used to examine each in detail.
It is the aim of As Dúchas Dóchas to encourage people to access full employment or further education, using the skills acquired during their training and work experience with the result that the company enjoys a high rate of trainee job placement.
The company has focused on the preparation of trainees for the compilation of information for the "Working Lives" project, a collection of oral folklore of the people's lives in the West Limerick area, by instructing them in various techniques and methods to be used in the research field. The company's publications, "Working Lives: Memoirs of Rural Ireland", "Working Lives 2: From Dawn till Dusk" and "Working Lives 3: One Road Many Journeys", have a website dedicated to them at www.workinglives.pro.ie, and contains sound bites and pictures from the interviews that were conducted for the books. A fourth volume on a similar theme is due to be published in the November 2004.
As Dúchas Dóchas acknowledges the assistance of FÁS personnel in both the Raheen Training Centre and the Newcastle West office, Limerick County Library Service and Limerick County Council.