In Autumn 2023, Teagasc took their first intake of Horticulturist Apprentices (10), Sportsturf Apprentices (23), Farm Technician Apprentices (11) and Farm Manager Apprentices (8).
This followed a detailed development and application process. Consortium Groups representing the specific sectors successfully received approval from Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) for these programmes. Additionally, statutory legislation was amended to include and recognise occupations in these land-based sectors for the apprenticeship programmes. The apprenticeship programmes are a collaboration with the Consortium Groups, SOLAS (Further Education and Skills Service state agency in Ireland) the National Apprenticeship Office and the SOLAS Approved Employers to deliver the higher education land-based apprenticeships and train people for careers in the relevant land-based sector and retain employees in their businesses. In addition, statutory legislation was amended to include and recognise occupations in these land-based sectors for the apprenticeship programmes.
The approval process of the employer and their business is completed in collaboration with SOLAS Authorised Officers based on criteria approved by the Consortium Groups and Teagasc. Pending approval and registration of the SOLAS Approved Employer, then the employer can contact their SOLAS Authorised Officer to register the apprentice to their business subject to the apprentice meeting the entry requirements of the apprenticeship programme.
Teagasc looks forward to future intakes of apprentices, approval of employers and on-going collaboration with the land-based sectors and the Consortium Groups to deliver these programmes to meet the requirements of occupations in the relevant land-based sectors.
Pic 1: Sportsturf Apprentices – Mount Juliet
Pic 2: Sportsturf Apprentices Kildalton 2023-2025
Pic 3: Hort Apprentices
Pic 4: Farm Manager Apprentices
Pic 5: Icebreaker Session_Farm Manager Apprentices
(Pics and text compiled by James Maher and Carmel Finlay)