Legal issues surrounding farming apprenticeships to be addressed
Legislation is to be brought forward to address impediments to the formation of farming apprenticeships.
It comes on the back of the launch of the Action Plan to Expand Apprenticeships and Traineeships, which aims at delivering 50,000 apprenticeship and traineeship registrations by 2020.
The current legislation surrounding apprenticeships which designates an “activity of industry” as being the subject of an apprenticeship scheme or schemes excludes as activity of agriculture, horticulture or fishing which is an activity of primary production.
The Department of Education and Skills has said this potentially limits the development of apprenticeships in some areas, although it says it has not impeded the development of any new apprenticeship to date.
It says the plan is signalling that this legislative issue will be addressed to facilitate the development of apprenticeships in these areas.
The plan also sets out a timeline for a second call for proposals in 2017 and it will be open to industry/training providers to submit a proposal for the development of apprenticeships in the agriculture sector.
It comes as an increasing shortage of skilled farm workers, particularly in the dairy sector, is being experienced by farms nationwide.