The disruption seen in the Green Cert applications system for young farmers requires an immediate intervention by the Minister for Agriculture, according to Mayo Sinn Féin deputy Rose Conway-Walsh.
Earlier this week, up to 200 young farmers who had paid fees to do the Green Cert course at a Further Education College in Mayo were told that they had secured places on the course, but were informed later the same day that a mistake had been made.
Refunds have been issued but the problem is far from resolved. The prospective students now have no place.
Courses for the Green Cert are oversubscribed right across the country.
Deputy Conway Walsh raised the issue with Minister Humphreys in the Dail yesterday and has also written to the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue urging him to work closely with the education providers to maximise places this year, insisting that students that were offered a place should be given one.
The qualification is extremely important to young farmers and young people interested in entering the sector. Delays to qualification can have knock-on impact on farming careers and incomes.
Deputy Conway Walsh says young people cannot get into farming if the government is unable to provide the necessary training required to become a qualified farmer and she has been telling Midwest News about a the demand for places this week on the Green Cert course at Westport College of Further Education.