Teagasc struggling to cope with demand for courses
Teagasc is seeking Government approval to employ more agriculture lecturers to deal with the surge in demand for its Green Cert and Level 5 and 6 courses.
The agricultural research and education organisation will have a record 5,000 students enrolled at the start of the new academic year.
A staffing application, marked "urgent" is currently with the Department of Agriculture.
The main reason for the student surge is the Young Farmers scheme introduced by the Agriculture Department.
This has prompted 3,500 applications for the two-year Green Cert course.
Applications for the Teagasc Level 5 and Level 6 courses in agriculture are also up at 1,500.
"The total number requiring Green Cert courses could be higher and this unprecedented level of demand will require substantial, albeit temporary staff," Tony Petitt, Teagasc Head of Education told the Farming Independent.
He explained that over the past few years some 20 temporary lecturers were taken on when demand increased significantly because of the Rural Development Programme.