The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has confirmed a new apprenticeship programme in Sportsturf Management.
The two-year programme will welcome its first group of apprentices and employers in September 2023.
The apprenticeship will train apprentices to work on plant science and protection, soil and rootzones, the principles of hydrology and preparing and maintaining a sportsturf facility.
Later this month implementation arrangements for the apprenticeship will get underway, including approval of employers to provide training and registration of apprentices. In Year 1, off-the-job training for the apprenticeship will be provided in the Teagasc premises, Kildalton College, Kilkenny.
Speaking about the announcement, Minister Harris said, “this is one of five apprenticeship programmes we are launching in the areas of farming and horticulture. Later this year, we will be rolling out apprenticeships for Farm Managers, Farm Technicians, in Horticulture, and next year, an apprenticeship in Stud Farm Management will launch.”
“These are really exciting programmes. We need people to want careers in agriculture and horticulture. These programmes will allow an individual to work on farms and on the land, while also gaining a major award on the National Framework of Qualifications. Apprenticeships provide a valuable route to professional qualifications and with the enactment of the Higher Education Authority Act 2022, we can now extend these opportunities to the agriculture and horticulture sectors. The Sportsturf Management apprenticeship will lead to a Level 6 award, graduate apprentices will receive a Higher Certificate in Sportsturf Management.”
Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins said, “we are working hard to deliver new apprenticeships all the time because we know how effective they can be at delivering talented and skilled staff for industry. This new apprenticeship in sportsturf management is yet another exciting option for those considering their career options and, as ever, it offers learners the opportunity to earn while they learn.”
Dr Mary Liz Trant, Director of the National Apprenticeship Office, said, “the apprenticeship in Sportsturf Management and the soon-to-be launched apprenticeships in the agriculture and horticulture sectors are being welcomed by so many businesses up and down the country, many of them micro and small businesses which are the backbone of our economy and society. From all in the National Apprenticeship Office we congratulate Teagasc for their leadership in working with employers to develop these innovative programmes within the national apprenticeship system.”