A new two-year apprenticeship programme in Sportsturf Management will welcome its first group of apprentices and employers this September.
The apprenticeship will train apprentices to work on plant science and protection, soil and rootzones, the principles of hydrology and preparing and maintaining a sportsturf facility.
In year 1, off-the-job training for the apprenticeship will be provided in the Teagasc premises at Kildalton Agricultural College, Kilkenny.
Earlier this year, That’s Farming reported that it is planned to take in 20 apprentices for this apprenticeship in September 2023.
The Sportsturf Management apprenticeship will lead to a Level 6 award. Graduate apprentices will receive a higher certificate in Sportsturf Management.
Later this month, implementation arrangements for the apprenticeship will get underway, including approval of employers to provide training and registration of apprentices, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has confirmed in a statement to this publication.
This is one of five apprenticeship programmes the department will launch in the areas of farming and horticulture.
Later this year, the department will roll out apprenticeships for farm managers and farm technicians in horticulture, and next year, an apprenticeship in stud farm management will launch, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris has confirmed.
Ag and horticulture careers
Minister Harris said: “These are really exciting programmes. We need people to want careers in agriculture and horticulture.”
“These programmes will allow an individual to work on farms and on the land while also gaining a major award on the National Framework of Qualifications.”
“Apprenticeships provide a valuable route to professional qualifications, and with the enactment of the Higher Education Authority Act 2022, we can now extend these opportunities to the agriculture and horticulture sectors.
Earn & learn
Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins said: “We are working hard to deliver new apprenticeships all the time because we know how effective they can be at delivering talented and skilled staff for industry.”
“This new apprenticeship in sportsturf management is yet another exciting option for those considering their career options and, as ever, it offers learners the opportunity to earn while they learn.”
Dr Mary Liz Trant, director of the National Apprenticeship Office, said the apprenticeship in Sportsturf Management and the “soon-to-be-launched” apprenticeships in the agriculture and horticulture sectors are being “welcomed” by so many businesses up and down the country, many of them micro and small businesses which are “the backbone” of our economy and society.