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Minister Harris announces up to 100 farms register for farming apprenticeships

Up to 100 farms have registered to take on the first ever farming apprentices this year.

Two new farming apprenticeships; the Farm Manager apprenticeship and the Farm Technician apprenticeship were launched in mid-August with a cap of 30 students on each programme.

Demand has been significant with 90 farms seeking to become registered as employers.

Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships, Minister Harris said:

"The apprenticeship programmes were launched in August and were an initial step into the area of farming.

"We are delighted to see such a high level of interest in the first month. This is in addition to the 40 other employers seeking to take on our new horticultural and sportsturf management apprentices.

"Apprentices will start next month in our agricultural colleges and we will be looking to expand and grow this next year."

The Farm Manager apprenticeship creates a pathway to a managerial career in the agricultural sector, equipping the apprentice with the latest research and best practice management knowledge to successfully run a commercial farm business.

The Farm Technician apprenticeship trains apprentices to operate successfully within Irish farming systems, gaining skills in daily operations, compliance with industry standards and regulatory measures.

Apprentices will be employed by commercial farm enterprises such as arable, dairy, cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep and suckler farm enterprises.

The Farm Manager apprenticeship will lead to a Level 7 degree and will initially be available through the Teagasc Kildalton College, Piltown, Kilkenny, while the Farm Technician Level 6 will be available in Teagasc Clonakilty College, Cork and Teagasc Ballyhaise College Cavan.

Each programme is two years in length.

There will be a range of farm enterprises eligible for successful farm apprentices to be employed on including cattle, dairy, pigs, poultry, tillage and sheep sectors.