Farm Ireland

Sunday 22 April 2018

Demand for farming Green Cert courses down 10pc

Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle
Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle
Claire Mc Cormack

Claire Mc Cormack

Demand for Teagasc's full-time Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture is expected to drop by "at least 10pc" for the incoming academic year, Teagasc head of education, Tony Pettit has said.

The anticipated decrease in the one year course, which had 570 enrolments last year, has been linked to the economic upturn and growing opportunities in the engineering and construction sectors.

Meanwhile, demand for Teagasc's part-time courses is surging ahead.

"The standard Level 5 Green Cert will probably go down 10pc, it could be a bit more but I'd definitely expect it to be in that territory," said Mr Pettit adding that the drop is "not surprising".

"When the economy improves you get people looking at opportunities in other sectors, that's a cycle that repeats itself.

"There is an increase in apprenticeships which have been unusually low for nine years and they would come from the same pool to a certain degree. We have been on the upswing for a number of years and we have to live on the other side of it I suppose," he said.

Teagasc director Gerry Boyle said demand for part-time courses remains very strong.

"There was around three times the normal intake and there is a backlog we are trying to work through, we had to take on contract staff to deal with that.

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"It's very positive thing but it's probably artificial in that it has been a direct response to changes in the entitlement rules for the National Reserve for young farmers," he said.

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