Farm Ireland

Friday 23 February 2018

Teagasc to offer 1,000 Green Cert places this year

Over 1,000 farmers attended Teagasc Greenfield farm open day in Kilkenny. Photo: Roger Jones.
Over 1,000 farmers attended Teagasc Greenfield farm open day in Kilkenny. Photo: Roger Jones.
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Teagasc is to offer 1,000 Green Cert places this year, according to the Minster for Agriculture, Michael Creed.

It comes as an unprecedented backlog for the course has seen its waiting list swell to over 3,600.

Enrolments trebled in the period 2014 to 2016 - from 500 in a typical year to over 1,500 - arising from the education requirements of the Young Farmers Scheme and National Reserve, which required successful applicants to hold a Green Cert or equivalent in order to qualify for payment.

Last year it was agreed that Teagasc could appoint 70 temporary education officers to rapidly expand the number of available places. Seven temporary administrators were also approved to address the huge volume of course administration that arose from the unprecedented demand.

The staffing arrangements implemented to date helped Teagasc enrol 4,500 Green Cert learners since 2014, according to the Minister.

“I understand that Teagasc continue to experience strong demand for the adult Green Cert from people who have registered an interest with Teagasc in completing a future course.

“It is not known what proportion of that demand will materialise into formal applications in due course.

“However, Teagasc are actively considering a range of resource options to address projected demand on a phased basis from 2017 to 2019,” he said in response to a parliamentary question this week.

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He said he was pleased to confirm that Teagasc’s request for 15 new temporary teaching posts was recently approved.

“ I understand that Teagasc intend to deploy a substantial number of these posts to alleviate acute demand pressure points in the Northwest and Northeast.

“Overall Teagasc would hope to offer up to 1,000 Green Cert places at a number of locations in 2017, and therefore my understanding is that there is no question of the green cert being discontinued in the current academic year,” he said.

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