Legislation will be brought forward to facilitate the development of farm management and farm technician apprenticeships in 2022.
Seventeen new apprenticeship programmes will be developed next year, covering agriculture, engineering, construction, equine, and logistics, among others.
This is part of the government’s aim to increase annual apprenticeship registrations to 10,000 by 2025, according to Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris.
Announcing the new apprenticeship programmes for 2022, the minister said:
“I will be bringing forward legislation to allow for the delivery of apprenticeships in agriculture, where we will seek to develop apprenticeships in farm manger and farm technician roles.”
The farm manager apprenticeship will be a level 7 qualification, while the farm technician apprenticeship will be a level 6.
A level 7 qualification will also be available in stud farm assistant management; while a level 6 will be available in applied horticulture, hospitality and food.
Currently, there are 62 apprenticeship programmes in place across a variety of sectors, with eight new offerings created in 2020 and 2021, and four close to launch.
As of last week, 8,000 registrations for apprenticeships were recorded in 2021.
In construction, a master’s level qualification in quantity surveying will be achievable through the apprenticeship route in 2022.
There is also an apprenticeship in commercial driving being developed, aimed at addressing the labour and skill shortage emerging in the transport and haulage sector.
“We have set ourselves ambitious targets, but we are delivering on them,” Minister Harris said.
“As of last month, we had 7,484 apprenticeship registrations this year – a 25 per cent increase on pre-pandemic 2019 figures for the same period. This has continued to increase and just last week, we achieved over 8,000 registrations so far this year.
“I hope these new opportunities to learn in a practical way, as well as the changes we recently announced to the CAO webpage, will help deliver the message that an apprenticeship can provide a real and substantive career pathway for school leavers, those looking to upskill, change career or for people who are looking for a route back to employment in new and growing areas.”