The Organic Growers of Ireland (OGI) has called for applications for its apprenticeship programme for 2015.

The programme launched in 2014 and this year’s programme has a greater number of farms taking past and a larger intake of apprentices, the OGI says.

Organisers say that “the programme will run on a number of organic farms across the country and funding has once again been provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.”

The organisers said that the apprenticeship programme involves a six month placement on a commercial organic farm, with a structured training programme delivered by experts in the sector.

The host farms involved will employ the successful applicants directly and the training programme will be run by the Organic Growers of Ireland, the organisation says.

The OGI states that the programme has been designed for growers who want to up skill, and ultimately pursue a career in the organic horticultural sector, by learning from the experience of growers well established in the sector.

Jason Horner, the co-ordinator for the programme, says “this is the first programme of its kind that has been developed specifically for organic growing, and our long term goal is that it will increase the number of growers in Ireland who can supply Irish grown produce into the market, as the demand for organic food continues to increase.”

Horner also said that he “anticipates that demand will be high for the places available.”

Applications close on March 1, 2015.

Full details of the programme, terms and conditions and application forms are available on the OGI website