Apprentice board signs off on massive contribution to farm education
The Farm Apprenticeship Board (FAB) has announced that it has ceased all operations.
The move brings to a close a crucial chapter in the development of modern farm management training and farm education.
FAB was involved in farm management training from 1964 to 2002 and provided a route into the industry for thousands of young farmers over the four decades.
Set up by Macra in 1964, FAB’s primary aim was to provide vocational training for young farmers and this was delivered through the Farm Apprenticeship Scheme.
With financial and other support provided by the Department of Agriculture and subsequently by ACOT and laterally Teagasc, the board went on to develop the Trainee Farmer Scheme for farm inheritors in the early 1970s.
Training and upskilling of ‘master farmers’ became an integral part of the board’s operations as its remit grew.
The 1990s saw massive expansion of numbers in the FAB training programme with up to 350 apprentices in training per year.
However, the rise of the Celtic Tiger and the downturn in farming as a career for young people undermined FAB’s recruitment base and the training programme was integrated into Teagasc in 2002.