Italian work experience students keen to benefit from Irish farmer insights

Equipeople, an agricultural work experience organisation based in Co. Laois, is looking for farm families interested in hosting students during the summer months.

The organisation works closely with a number of agricultural schools throughout Europe.

As result of recent changes to the education system in Italy, it has a large number of Italian students keen to visit Ireland for four-week placements during May, June or July.

“These young adults come to Ireland to learn and improve their practical skills and their English, while immersing themselves in the Irish culture,” said Caroline Lane, managing director, Equipeople.

“Every student would like to be involved in all aspects of the placement, whether that means on a dairy farm, mixed farm, horse yard, agri home or landscaping placement,” she said.

“They will help the host family for 30 to 35 hours per week and will need to have two days off every week. Hosts must be prepared to welcome a student into their family and provide accommodation and meals in the family home.”

What’s involved?

Caroline stressed that potential host families are visited for suitability and will be Garda vetted – so they must be prepared to complete some paperwork.

As these young students are hoping to go home more experienced farmers than they came, hosts also need to be happy to pass on their knowledge, not in formal lessons but instead informally talking about their farm, livestock and why and how they do things in a certain way.

The student is coming to Ireland to learn from their host, the director explained.

“In return, the students are expected to help with the daily tasks of the farm including: milking; tractor work, if capable; feeding calves; power-hosing; and other jobs.

“Our agri home students are hoping to help with children and assist in the house, and to many families this extra pair of hands during the summer holidays is invaluable. Students are not expecting to receive any pocket money,” she said.

For more details on the work experience programme, contact Mandy or Zoe at Equipeople on: 0578-643-195.