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Teagasc plans for new Apprenticeships

Teagasc plans for new Apprenticeships

On Tuesday 25th May Teagasc gave a briefing note on it's Education and Training for the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Teagasc, as primary provider of accredited further education and training (FET) for the agricultural sector, details new apprenticeship pathway plans here

Education in Teagasc

Teagasc is the primary provider of accredited further (vocational) education and training (FET) for the agricultural sector. Total annual participation levels for Teagasc further education and Teagasc linked higher education programmes have ranged from 5,000 to 6,000 in recent years.

Teagasc education delivery is organised around 7 Colleges (including 3 Private Colleges) and 12 Advisory Regions supported by a national network of host farms /units and Education Benchmark farms. Research centres and KT units participate in and/or support Teagasc Education delivery as necessary and play an important role in Teagasc education staff training.

Teagasc’s role in education and training can be classified as follows:

  1. Further Education
  2. Linked Higher Education with the Institutes of Technology
  3. Collaboration with the universities on undergraduate Degree programmes
  4. Apprenticeships
  5. Teagasc Walsh Scholarship Programme
  6. Education for Rural Professionals (ConnectEd)
  7. Continuous Professional Development (Teagasc Evolve)
  8. Technical training for Irish Food Companies

Here we will concentrate on the new and exciting developments in Apprenticeships.

Teagasc develops land sector apprenticeships

National education policy advocates the expansion of apprenticeship enrolments and creation of new apprenticeship pathways. The recently launched Action Plan for Apprenticeships 2021-2025 sets out ambitious targets in this regard. The Teagasc Education Vision recommended the development of land sector apprenticeship pathways including a Level 7 apprenticeship in farm management.

Teagasc on behalf of the land sector proposed the development of five apprenticeships:

  • two in horticulture at Level 6
  • two in farming – one at Level 6 and one at Level 7 and
  • one in equine at Level 7

The outline occupational profiles for these apprenticeships have been approved by the Apprenticeship Council. Currently Teagasc is developing an overall quality assurance framework for these higher education apprenticeship programmes for submission to and approval by QQI in the coming months. It is then intended that the first apprenticeship programme will be submitted to QQI for validation in autumn 2021 and the remainder in the first half of 2022. Current restrictions within the 1967 Industrial Training Act excludes apprenticeships in areas of primary production (agriculture, horticulture and fishing) and in professional occupations. The Action Plan for Apprenticeships 2021-2025 states this restriction will be removed where there is a clear rationale for an apprenticeship in these areas.

Further Information:

Details of all eight areas listed above under Teagasc's role in education and training, can be found at this link: Download full Opening Statement to Oireachtas Committee here