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Full Time Organic Horticulture Training Programme - New course starting in February 2012
FETAC LEVEL 5 MAJOR AWARD IN ORGANIC HORTICULTURE 2012 AT THE ORGANIC CENTRE sponsored by FAS
What is a FETAC LEVEL 5 Course?
FETAC level 5 courses are vocational courses intended for those who are considering going into their chosen subject as a profession. Level 5 is comparable to Leaving Cert or post-Leaving Cert standards of education. Level 5 courses are comprised of 8 modules, each graded pass, merit or distinction. A pass in all 8 modules leads to a major award in a given subject. Every educational outlet offering a FETAC course is subject to nationally established levels of quality assurance. The FETAC system of education in Ireland is now an internationally recognised award and can act as a step up into higher levels of education.
MAJOR AWARD IN ORGANIC HORTICULTURE 2012
The course is funded as a FÁS Local Training Initiative The aim of our course is to equip you with the know-how to start a vocation in the organic sector. Please be advised that the course is currently geared to market garden scale operations of fruit and vegetable production and we do not work with livestock or large, field scale, heavy machinery powered conditions.This qualification, or an equivalent, is now often a requirement for those seeking grants from state bodies in establishing a horticultural enterprise. The 8 modules planned to be delivered at the Organic Centre for 2012 are:-
- Organic Soil Management
- Organic Food Crops
- Organic Crop Protection
- Principles of Organic Plant Growth
- Organic Conversion
- Work Experience
- Start your own Business
Each module combines a series of both theoretical and practical teaching, from tutors within the Centre and occasionally from external specialists, developing a broad range of skills and knowledge in the subject areas covered. Class and practical work is split approximately 50/50.Modules are assessed through a combination of practical, written and filmed assignments plus a series of written examinations where suitable. Passes or above in all 8 modules leads to the level 5 award in Organic Horticulture. A high percentage of former students go on to work in the organic sector as commercial growers, employees, teachers, facilitators etc. in a diverse range of situations. There has been an expanding development of tutoring in both school and community gardens settings around Ireland.
COURSE DURATION, TIMES etc.
The course is planned to begin in February 2012 and run until January 2013. The course runs from 9-5 Monday to Thursday and 9-4 on Fridays, and full attendance is expected except in very exceptional circumstances. There is a 30 minute morning break and 1 hour for lunch. Due to the current legal regulations of our FAS sponsors it should be noted that there are no holidays scheduled within the year, other than national bank and public holidays. Time off is taken at your own expense. It is necessary to maintain a high level of focus and motivation throughout the year.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE, FUNDING etc.
There are no preconditions on who may apply for this course, other than being an EU citizen. You do not have to be unemployed and it is not a hindrance to be in current employment. Due to the level of commitment required it is not possible at this time to enter the course on a part-time basis. As a funded FAS Local Training Initiative the intention is to educate those who demonstrate an aptitude, interest and desire to enter organic growing as a vocation, preferably within Ireland.There are 15 places available for 2011 Students accepted on to the course to date receive a training allowance above the current national level of unemployment benefit which varies according to marital status, dependents etc., plus either a travel allowance or rent allowance, depending on circumstances (please address further enquiries to FAS, Sligo). Non-attendance without reasonable cause does lead to a reduction in allowance on a weekly basis.
ACCOMMODATION DURING THE YEAR
If you are accepted onto the course and do not live close enough to drive to the Centre on a daily basis you will find it relatively easy to find either rural or town based accommodation within our catchment area. Be aware that it’s not the easiest area to live in without some form of motor transport (or a bicycle and a high fitness level!)In practice, if you get a place on the course you can contact us at the Centre and we send out an accommodation contact list. It doesn’t usually take long to find somewhere. Some students decide to share houses, transport, etc.
All applications and registering for 2012 should be addressed to: FAS, BALLYTIVNAN, SLIGO, IRELAND. Tel 07191 59595 Fax 07191 69506 Or talk to your local FAS office. Do not apply to the Organic Centre.You will then be asked to provide a CV and called for an interview in mid January 2012. If you are accepted onto the course you will usually be notified within a week of interview. Let us know if you have any difficulties with the process. If you are interested in signing up for 2011 we recommend you visit us at the Organic Centre, if at all possible, to get a sense of the place and the area. Do try to give us advanced notice as Centre staff and the FETAC team are very busy and while naturally sociable and keen to talk it can be hard to give you the attention you undoubtedly deserve! If you want to delve deeper into the content of the course you may get a better idea by going into the fetac web site www.fetac.ie , go to modules, go to level 5 and then to local modules. Or enter the modules named above into the search bar.They look rather dry and formal on paper but it may give you more idea of the territory we cover over the year.
If you have any questions not covered here, either phone the Centre on 0719854338 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Ask for Phil, Steve or Sabine (the current FETAC team)
If we take some time to get back to you then apologies. We are still busy delivering this year’s programme. So, good luck with your application should you choose to go for it and here’s hoping we see you in time for the growing season for 2012!
Phil Wheal (joint course co-ordinator)