Farm Ireland

Friday 20 April 2018

Demand for one day tractor-driving course

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Young farmers are beginning to place a bigger emphasis on farm safety, if the results of the latest Macra na Feirme survey are anything to go by.

It shows 68pc of those surveyed believe that young farmers should complete a compulsory one-day tractor driving course before being issued with a provisional licence.

The poll also highlighted the desire among younger farmers to continue learning beyond their initial agricultural education.

Almost 74pc of 134 farmers said they would like to continue with further agricultural training and over 30pc of them have already taken part in a study trip abroad.

However, Macra president Kieran O'Dowd warned that the Government embargo on recruitment was seriously impacting on the delivery of agricultural education.

"The departments of Agriculture and Finance need to take into account the surge in numbers attending agricultural college and give Teagasc approval for the recruitment of replacement staff similar to all other third level colleges," he insisted.

"The embargo on Teagasc prevents it from employing the required staff to replace existing staff in agricultural colleges.

The student teacher ratio is rising to levels that will impact on the delivery and quality of vocational agricultural education," said Mr O Dowd.

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