Teagasc estimates that more than 1,200 YFS/NR applicants on their lists will need to enrol before the end of the year, and the organisation is now making arrangements to accomodate all affected applicants who have not already commenced an approved agricultural course.
The Department of Agriculture is writing to all applicants advising them to immediately contact their education provider.
Individuals enrolling in a Teagasc Green Cert course must complete a Teagasc course application form.
Teagasc is arranging course commencement sessions for mid- December, and warns there is very limited flexibility on course locations and schedules, due to “extraordinary” demand, which is over 10 times the normal annual level.
Since January, 2015, about 5,500 people have lodged an expression of interest in the Teagasc Green Cert course.
From late 2014 to the end of December, 2015, Teagasc will have enrolled 3,600 adult Green Cert learners, and is working closely with the Department of Agriculture to secure additional temporary staff to cater for the increase.
The exceptional demand for the Green Cert is largely attributable to higher payments provided for trained young farmers in the Young Farmers Scheme and the National Reserve.
Recruitment of 40 new temporary teachers in Teagasc was recently approved by the Government, and new arrangements will give Teagasc greater discretion to fill vacancies, said Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney.
IFA Deputy President Tim O’Leary said it was clearly pointed out in CAP information meetings and documentation that young farmers would qualify for additional payments if they commenced a FETAC Level 6 agricultural course on or before September 30, 2016.
“Changing the date now is a problem for many young farmers, and it is important that flexibility is shown that will accommodate young farmers”.