IF YOU want to work in the Irish machinery trade a new course has been unveiled that could be just the ticket.
The Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA), the representative body of the agricultural machinery trade in Ireland, has welcomed the creation of the new degree level agricultural mechanisation course at Institute of Techology, Tralee.
The new program is set to take its first tranche of students this September and there are still some places left on the course.
FTMTA boss Gary Ryan said the association has done considerable work over the last two years in relation to the development of a new approach to the training of agricultural technicians in Ireland. "Our efforts really grew out of a widely expressed requirement by the trade at a machinery dealer and manufacturer level for a strong, locally based qualification meeting the needs of the modern farm machinery sector," he said.
The new course is a joint approach between FTMTA representatives, tractor manufacturers and IT Tralee. Students completing the course will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Mechanisation.
The course is three years in duration and leads to a level seven degree qualification.
The application system is outside of the CAO process, with entries made directly.
To apply for a place on the course, potential students must have been accepted by a sponsoring farm machinery dealer who will provide the required work placements. Successful applicants will require at least five passes in the Leaving Certificate, and three of those passes must be at least of C grade in Maths, English and a Science subject.
Mr Ryan has been advising FTMTA members that they should be seeking out good candidates with a natural affinity for mechanisation and a realistic expectation of achieving a minimum of 300 to 350 Leaving Cert points.
"It will be a demanding third level course designed to produce high calibre graduates with a modern skillset who will be of considerable value to our sector," he explained.
The course content will consist of a mix of college based learning and work placement with the student required to carry out a substantial body of online learning when on work placement each year.
This aspect will count heavily towards the overall grade achieved.
As full time third level students, course participants will be liable to pay the third level college registration fee each year (€3,000 per year in 2015 - 2016).
In recognition of this cost, FTMTA are putting in place a prize fund to cover the first year fees of the best placed student at the end of the inaugural year of the course.
Further details in relation to the application process will be made available in the coming days through the FTMTA website.