Organic Growers of Ireland (OGI) has launched its apprenticeship programme for 2014.

The OGI has announced details of the new organic horticulture programme. Drafted as a response to a lack of practical, hands-on training available in the sector, the programme will run on six organic farms across the country. Funding by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has ensured that the pilot programme can be offered in 2014.

The 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 programme has been designed for growers who want to up skill, and 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, himself an experienced organic grower,anticipates that demand will be high for the six places available. “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 demand continues to increase”.

Full details of the programme are available on the OGI website.