15 new temporary staff approved for Teagasc to cope with Green Cert demand

Teagasc’s request for 15 new temporary posts to meet acute demand pressure points in some geographical locations was recently approved by the Department of Agriculture, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has said.

In response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail TD Brendan Smith yesterday, the Minster said that assignment of those posts to particular locations is an operational matter for Teagasc.

“As Teagasc continues to experience strong demand for the Green Cert, I understand that they are actively considering a range of resource options to address projected demand on a phased basis from 2017 to 2019.”

Minister Creed said that Teagasc did not have sufficient capacity to deal with the surge in applications for the Green Cert and that it was agreed that additional temporary resources would be provided to rapidly expand the number of Green Cert places.

In conjunction with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Teagasc was approved to appoint 70 temporary education officers in the period 2014 to 2016 on two year contracts of employment.

“Seven temporary administrators were also approved in 2015 for a two year period to address the huge volume of course administration that arose from the unprecedented demand.

“The additional resources helped Teagasc to enrol 4,000 adult learners since late 2014.”

Speaking to Agriland last year, Teagasc Director, Gerry Boyle said that Teagasc is looking at using external service providers to deliver courses under the body’s supervision.

The Teagasc Director also said that recruitment this year will be in the region of 30 new staff and that these positions will be right across board, covering everything from advisory through to research.

“This year was the first year that the embargo [on hiring] was relaxed, so we were able to negotiate the recruitment of 75 staff.

“The advisory situation in recent years has been affected simply by the fact that we had an older demographic on the advisory side of the house, so we had more retirements there, but that is slowing down now.”