DEMAND for agricultural courses has been growing steadily in recent years as Ireland’s agriculture and food industry expands.
There has been a sustained interest from young people seeking agricultural education and training in the past few years and this has driven the demand for places at Teagasc Clonakilty Agricultural College.
The factors which have seen the interest in courses increase include improved returns from farming, new opportunities to expand and more recently, the favourable measures for young people in the new CAP reform, under the Young Farmers’ Scheme and the National Reserve.
Students and parents will have an opportunity to visit Teagasc Clonakilty Agricultural College when its holds its careers day on Wednesday, March 16th next. The careers day will start at 11am, when potential students, parents and career guidance counsellors can get full details on the range of courses available and an opportunity to view the facilities at Darrara.
Majella Moloney, college principal, said that ‘Clonakilty Agricultural College has seen continual demand for its QQI Level 5 Certificate in Agriculture course since 2010. This is partly a reflection of the growing confidence in agriculture and the food industry.
‘The FoodWise 2025 report sets out a medium-long term vision as to where Ireland can grow its agricultural output. This is giving assurance to new entrants that there is a national framework in which they can have a sustainable future on the land.
‘The 12-week practical learning period at Level 5 and a further 12 weeks on the Level 6 Advanced Certificate option, where the student specialise in Dairy Herd Management, ensures the young people completing the Teagasc courses have a varied and stimulating learning experience.
‘Graduates of the Level 6 Advanced Certificate have the opportunity since 2012 to apply for the Teagasc-UCD Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management. With some dairy farmers looking at significant expansion in their dairy operation, there will be increasing opportunities for graduates to work as farm managers over the next number of years.
‘The two-year Professional Diploma will be the source of these trained people and the entry requirements for this course can be satisfied by completing the Level 5 and Level 6 courses that are run in Clonakilty,’ she added.