Subsidised third-level courses on offer for people working in ag industry

The Institute of Technology Tralee (IT Tralee) is offering subsidised third-level courses for people already working in the agricultural industry.

The AgriTech Centre of Excellence at IT Tralee is offering places on two courses starting in the autumn – the Certificate in Agricultural Mechanisation and the Certificate in Agritech Development.

These courses are heavily subsidised under the Springboard+ initiative; with the first course free of charge and the second at a cost of €200 for qualifying applicants.

The original closing date for applications was August 20; but that has now been extended to August 31.

The Certificate in Agricultural Mechanisation is aimed at people who have already qualified as agricultural mechanics through the apprenticeship route. Applicants must also be in employment in an appropriate and recognised machinery business.

The course is funded under the Springboard+ initiative and fees will not apply to applicants who meet the criteria of that programme.

For the Certificate in Agritech Development, which will result in a Level 7 degree, applicants must already hold a Level 6 qualification in: engineering; science; technology; or an equivalent.

The part-time courses will be taught in a blended format (online and in person) from September to May 2021.

Drop in interest in agriculture courses

Last month, it was revealed that interest in third-level agricultural courses has dropped this year.

There were 447 applicants in 2020 for Level 8 agricultural courses, compared to 471 in 2019. There was also a decrease in first preferences for Level 7/6 agricultural courses.

However, the number of applicants for veterinary courses increased this year.