Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (977)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

977. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the arrangements in place to ensure there are an adequate supply of accredited green certificate in agriculture courses available for all applicants in all regions due to the unprecedented demand for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6361/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Green Cert Programme continues to attract strong interest from the farming community, which I very much welcome, in terms of supporting generational renewal and improving education standards. Demand is also underpinned by the range of additional scheme supports and tax incentives targeted at young trained farmers who have successfully completed the Green Cert.

My Department continues to work closely with Teagasc to maximise participation in the Programme. Agreement was secured that Teagasc could appoint over 80 temporary teachers to rapidly expand the number of available places. It helped facilitate enrolment of over 9,000 adult learners on the part-time and distance education options since 2014.

As strong demand continues to exist for those options in some regions, Teagasc has agreed to bring forward a proposal for additional temporary resources for consideration by my Department in conjunction with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

The scheduling of courses and assignment of teaching posts to particular locations remains an operational matter for Teagasc. My Department will continue to monitor the Green Cert situation in Teagasc closely.