Farm Ireland

Saturday 17 March 2018

Jobseekers urged to learn how to milk cows due to skills shortage

A pilot training course is being rolled out to interested jobseekers to gain the necessary skills to be in a position to be employed as dairy operatives. Stock Image
Stock Image: PA

Claire McCormack

A new pilot training programme is set to attract jobseekers into the dairy sector in Kilkenny and Waterford.

The 'Dairy Operative Skills Programme' has been developed to tackle the acute skilled labour shortage in dairying.

"It is supported by the Department of Social Protection, Teagasc, the Irish Farmers' Association and Farm Relief Services with funding from Macra na Feirme Young Farmer Skillnet"

The organisations are currently working to highlight potential employment opportunities within the sector to people in receipt of social welfare and farm assist payments in the south-east region.

The four-week course will provide interested jobseekers with an opportunity to gain the skills to be in a position to be employed as dairy operatives.

"Jobseekers who participate in this part-time training course will retain their usual social welfare payment during the course, under part-time education option scheme rules," a spokesperson for the Department of Social Protection said:

"All jobseekers who obtain employment subsequent to this or any other such training course will be subject to the same conditions as all other jobseekers. The usual means tests rules and scheme conditions will apply," he said.

Edmond Connolly, of the South East Regional Skills Forum, said: "There is an acute issue in dairying. The primary focus is milking skills to milk cows but there are some fairly good career opportunities there in the sector if people are properly trained."

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The part-time pilot course will begin in September.

"Macra na Feirme National President James Healy said:‘ "Addressing the shortage of skilled labour available to dairy farmers is a primary concern for Macra na Feirme and these courses on offer go a long way to tackling this issue. Thanks to the support of Skillnets and Teagasc I believe those who sign up for these courses will find them very beneficial in their careers."

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