Kildare South Fine Gael TD and Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, Martin Heydon, has welcomed the announcement of a Stud Farm Management Apprenticeship through Teagasc.

“This apprenticeship is one of 26 new national apprenticeships ranging from Horticulture to Healthcare which have been approved as part of €122 million investment in apprenticeships by Government in 2018.

“Apprenticeships were a casualty of the recession when registrations collapsed and fell by over 80%. I am delighted to see not only the reversal of this trend and rebuilding apprenticeships but also the expansion into new industries.

“The inclusion of a specific course on Stud Farm Management is recognition of the contribution of the bloodstock industry and its role as a large employer in many parts of rural Ireland.

“The expansion of Teagasc apprenticeships will benefit school leavers and mature learners in Kildare with a wide and varying range of apprenticeships on offer, such as Farm Management, Farm Technician and Stud Farm Management.

“I commend Ministers Richard Bruton and John Halligan and the Apprenticeship Council for their work, this announcement is an important step in meeting the targets set out in our Apprenticeship and Trainee Plan, which seeks to double the number of annual apprenticeship and trainee enrolments to 14,000 by 2020.”