The number of young farmers seeking to enrol in full-time Green Cert courses has increased, with the majority of colleges seeing a rise in applications for 2022.

There are 542 students enrolled in full-time Green Cert courses across the country.

For the distance education Green Cert, 1,851 people applied for a course in 2022, of which 595 were accepted into courses. In relation to part-time Green Cert courses, 461 people applied, of which 133 enrolled in 2022.

The number of women completing the Green Cert increased by 4% in 2021 from the year previous, Teagasc told the Irish Farmers Journal.

Some 1,169 women completed the Green Cert in 2021; this figure was just 856 in 2020.

In addition, in the last five years, the number of women completing the Green Cert has increased by 8% in total.

Stan Lalor, director of Knowledge Transfer at Teagasc, said: “What we are seeing with numbers this year is that they are very strong.

“Going back six or seven years ago there was a huge increase in the numbers coming in which was probably due to less people being engaged in agricultural education during the boom or the Celtic Tiger, people were catching up on those qualifications.”

Now, Lalor said, Teagasc is seeing a more steady level in terms of the conveyer belt of students coming in.

“We continue to look at the offering of the course and making sure they are fit for purpose. We are very aware in terms of the demand for labour on farms and demand for skills and talents,” Lalor added.