Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Freeze lifted on hiring agri researchers

Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle
Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

The state's farm advisory body has begun hiring again with 75 people to be recruited, after the six-year Government ban on new jobs was lifted.

Professor Gerry Boyle, the head of Teagasc, said it had hit a critical point with 400 staff and contract workers lost since 2009.

"It couldn't have come at a better time. After a year of a lot of pressure on staffing resources and the organisation in some areas we were at breaking point, particularly in education and advisory activity," said Prof Boyle on the removal of the moratorium as he pointed out there had been massive demand for their education courses.

Teagasc confirmed it received permission from the Agriculture Department last month to raise the limit on total permanent pay from €62.2m this year to €63.2m for next year and 2017.

The new staff will mostly be replacing critical positions left vacant from retirements, with 14 researchers to be appointed and 37 support staff and advisors.

Prof Boyle also highlighted the "unprecedented demand" for the full and part-time 'Green Cert' course around the country.

Irish Independent