Apprenticeships and college courses are developing for the agricultural sector
ABOVE: Front: Dr Stephen Whelan (BSc Program Director in Organic Agriculture, SETU) and Dr Anthony Nolan (BEng Program Director Agricultural Systems Engineering, SETU). Back: Cormac O’Toole (Vice-President for Corporate Affairs, SETU), Dr Frances Hardiman (Head of Faculty of Engineering, SETU), Mr David Denieffe (Vice-President for Academic Affairs, SETU), Minister of State Pippa Hackett , Dr John Carroll (BEng Agricultural Systems Engineering Program Director, SETU) and Dr Karen Hennessy (Campus Manager, SETU Wexford)
Education and training opportunities for people who want to work in agriculture are growing, with new apprenticeships and postgraduate courses.
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, confirmed three new agricultural apprenticeship programs at last week’s Plowing Championship.
The Agricultural Management, Agricultural Technician, and Horticulture apprenticeship programs will accept students in the upcoming academic year.
New courses were also announced at South East Technological University (SETU).
The four new courses are a Level 8 BSc (Hons) and Level 7 BSc in Organic Agriculture and a Level 8 BEng (Hons) and Level 7 BEng in Agricultural Systems Engineering. Applications through the CAO open in November.
Speaking at the plowing championships, the minister said: “Until now, legislation prohibited legal apprenticeship in any area of agriculture, horticulture or fishing. Fortunately, that is now changing due to the impending passage of the Higher Education Authority Bill.
“We can now deploy apprenticeships in Agricultural Technician (BTS Level 6) and Operations Manager (BTS Level 7) and in Horticulture (BTS Level 6). Teagasc will begin working with employers to train them in learning management from early 2023 and students will be accepted from September.
“Next month we will be launching Apprenticeship in Sports Turf Management which provides trainees with the skills and knowledge to work in sports turf based businesses such as golf courses, sports fields, local government, farms lawn care and maintenance contractors.”
Also announced at the Plowing Championship, South East Technological University (SETU) has expanded its agricultural program offerings with the launch of four new degrees in Organic Agriculture and Farming Systems Engineering.
Speaking at the launch, Dr Stephen Whelan, Program Director, said: “Our new organic agriculture programs offer students a unique opportunity to make a big impact on the organic industry. The BSc in Organic Agriculture is the only such degree offered on the island of Ireland and we believe the Honors version of the course is the only Level 8 degree in Organic Agriculture offered in the UK or Ireland.
The program has been developed in close consultation with industry, including the Irish Organic Association whose expertise has been used in the development of the program’s organic modules.
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