Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, has confirmed three new apprenticeship programmes in farming will accept students from the new academic year.
His department hopes to finalise its agricultural apprenticeship programmes “by the end of the year or early new year”.
It will roll out apprenticeships in:
- Farm Technician (Higher Certificate Level 6);
- Farm Manager (Ordinary Degree Level 7);
- Horticulture (Higher Certificate Level 6).
Teagasc will begin working with employers to train them in apprenticeship management from early 2023, and students will be accepted from September.
Development work on the three apprenticeship programmes is “ongoing”, and programme documentation has been submitted to QQI to progress through the validation process.
Until now, legislation has prohibited statutory apprenticeships in agriculture, horticulture, or fishing.
However, the most recent change comes following the impending passage of the Higher Education Authority Bill.
Create the next generation of farmers
At the National Ploughing Championships today (Thursday), the minister said:
“Farming is a great career for people, and these apprenticeship programmes will help create the next generation of farmers.”
“Pending approval by QQI, it is aimed to have these apprenticeships launched by year-end.”
“Further details of the programmes, including locations where the training will be available, once the validation process is finalised.”
Mary-Liz Trant, Director of the National Apprenticeship Office, said:
“We are delighted that the new legislation has passed through the Seanad, opening up the expansion of apprenticeship options in Ireland even further.”
“We have 66 apprenticeship options at the moment. Within 1-2 years, we will have up to 100 options available within all 21st-century industries in Ireland.”
“Teagasc has been leading the way on new apprenticeships in the areas of farming, horticulture and sportsturf management. We look forward to supporting Teagasc and partners on the launch of the new programmes,” she concluded.
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