Teagasc now has an extra 77 staff teaching the Green Cert, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.
The Minister was outlining the Department of Agriculture’s, Supplementary Budget Estimate for 2015 in the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture recently.
He highlighted that it has been agreed to assign Teagasc an extra 37 temporary staff to ensure that every farmer is accommodated in the context of the green certificate qualification many young farmers are seeking at the moment.
The initiative brings the overall allocation of temporary resources for the green certificate qualification to an extra 77 people in Teagasc.
Teagasc believes that it will require an additional 1,200 places for these applicants adding to the already increasing demand for Green Cert programme places, which has increased 10-fold over the past year.
The Minister said he and the Department are conscious that ‘the issue needs help and there will be more support where that came from’.
“Teagasc needs more staff not only in education but in terms of its consultancy work.
“The freeze on recruitment across the public sector is being loosened. Teagasc is an obvious example of an organisation that will benefit from that and spend a bit more.”
The Minister also outlined to the Committee that almost €4m in savings is expected from Teagasc and Bord Bia this year.
These relate to savings on the 2015 pension allocation for these organisations, possibly as a result of the extension of the grace period for public sector retirements
Teagasc has reduced its number of staff retirements from 50 to 31 which produced a saving of €3.3m in lump sums in 2015.