Friday, May 26, is the deadline for agriculture college full-time course applications, according to Tony Pettit, Head of Education in Teagasc.
Pettit emphasised that there is a need for a young, educated workforce to meet the future needs of the agricultural sector. He explained:
The farm population is ageing, with more than half of farmers being over 55 years of age and less than 6% under 35. ‘New blood’ will be vital to sustain a vibrant farming sector, particularly for the expanding dairy sector.
“The recovering economy is also opening up opportunities in horticulture with occupations in landscape and design, nursery stock production and retailing, and sports turf management benefiting,” he added.
Teagasc recommends that interested applicants should submit their application forms in the coming weeks well prior to the closing date. Application forms can be downloaded from the website or are available from agricultural colleges.
- Teagasc Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan
- Teagasc Clonakilty, Co. Cork
- Teagasc Kildalton, Co. Kilkenny
Teagasc courses are also offered at the three private agricultural colleges:
- Gurteen Agricultural College, Co. Tipperary
- Mountbellew Agricultural College, Co. Galway
- Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry, Co Limerick
There are also full-time Level 5 Horticulture courses offered at the Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, Botanic Gardens, Dublin 9, and at Teagasc Kildalton Horticulture College, Co Kilkenny.
The application deadline for horticultural courses, however, will not be until August 2017. For those interested, there will be horticultural course open days taking place on May 18 at Teagasc Kildalton College, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, and on August 12 at the Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, Botanic Gardens, Dublin 9.
A Level 5 Forestry course is also available at Teagasc Ballyhaise College. Equine courses (both stud management and horsemanship) at Kildalton College are available.
Both part-time and distance education Green Cert programmes for adults are available from multiple Teagasc locations on an on-going basis.
Full details of Teagasc courses can be obtained from the Teagasc website or from the various colleges.