Teagasc to hire 20 extra teachers for Green Cert courses

Approval for extra staff due to exceptional demand for Teagasc  courses
Teagasc to hire 20 extra teachers for Green Cert courses

Extra Green Cert teachers will be deployed nationwide, says Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle, left, with Teagasc Chairman Liam Herlihy. 

Teagasc has welcomed Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue’s approval for recruitment of 20 fixed-term education staff to meet exceptional demand for Teagasc Green Cert courses.

Teagasc director Professor Gerry Boyle said: “The provision of 20 additional staff will allow Teagasc to recruit and plan ahead with a view to significantly boosting Teagasc Green Cert intakes over the coming year.

“We will assign a substantial number of the new staff to the North-West and North-East regions where there have been challenging Green Cert demand hotspots.

“Some of the additional staff will also be allocated to the South-East and SouthWest regions’”.

Since 2014, some 9,000 people have been accommodated on Green Cert courses, with the assistance of over 80 additional temporary teachers.

The Green Cert Programme has continued to attract strong interest, particularly in the West and North-East of the country.

According to Fianna Fail Senator Robbie Gallagher, 450 people recently applied for 200 places in Green Cert courses in Westport, Co Mayo, and the Westport College of Further Education has demand for about 1,000 places in 2021.

He said the level 5 green cert qualification is vitally important in the agriculture sector to allow young people avail of grants and schemes, and it makes the inheritance of land a more viable option.

“We have a chronic lack of places where it is possible to earn green certificates now.”

Teagasc proposed to hire additional temporary teachers, which proved very effective in the past by dramatically increasing the number of Green Cert places in a relatively short timeframe.

Approval for this has now come from the Departments of Agriculture and of Public Expenditure and Reform.

The approval has been timely, as Teagasc hosts a series of virtual open days for prospective students, to showcase its full-time level 5 agriculture, horticulture, equine and forestry courses.

There are virtual open days for:

  •  Kildalton Agricultural and Horticultural College today (Thursday, March 4),
  •  Clonakilty Agricultural College next Tuesday, March 9.
  •  The College of Amenity Horticulture Botanic Gardens on Thursday, March 11.
  •  Gurteen Agricultural College on Wednesday, March 10.
  •  and Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry, Co Limerick Thursday, April 15.

The virtual events are transmitted via Zoom.

Head of Teagasc Education, Tony Pettit said: “School leavers and parents interested in Teagasc full-time Level 5 courses can register for the virtual events, join the Q and A session with staff, and get an in-depth visual insight to available courses and college facilities.

Teagasc is currently taking applications for the 2021/2022 academic year.

Those interested should apply online now to the college of their choice at the teagasc.ie/education/going-to-college/apply-online/ webpage.

Teagasc courses have continued, despite the Covid pandemic, through digital and onsite practical learning.

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