Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board and Teagasc Announce Collaborative Partnership

Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board and Teagasc Announce Collaborative Partnership

Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board and Teagasc Announce Collaborative Partnership for Enhanced Agricultural Training and Learner Support Services

Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB) and Teagasc are proud to announce a ground-breaking collaboration to deliver comprehensive training programmes and enhanced learner support services for agricultural learners. This partnership aims to meet the evolving needs of the agricultural community by providing both accredited and non- accredited training opportunities, ensuring equal accessfor all to high-quality education and support.

A key focus of Laois and Offaly ETB’s agricultural strategy is the introduction of additional agricultural education through training programmes grounded on agricultural sustainability, a key consideration for farmers. LOETB’s target audience for this strategy is primarily part- time farmers in the Laois Offaly area. In most cases the target audience, due to necessity, will have off-farm income supplementation. A key aim of this strategy is to ensure continuation of part-time farming despite off-farm income and, where possible, upskill farmers such that, said off-farm income is generated within the agricultural sector. Our hope is toeducate farmers in the region to get the most from their parcel of land, regardless of size, while ensuring its sustainability and viability for future generations.

Under this new initiative, LOETB and Teagasc will offer a diverse range of agricultural training programmesdesigned to equip learners with relevant skills and knowledge required in the modern agricultural sector. The collaboration will ensure that participants can gain accredited qualifications that are recognised and valued within the industry as well as non- accredited courses tailored to the specific needs of local farm families and their communities. These courses will enhance their knowledge and skillset along with their livelihoods, sustain future generations and overall play a vital role in advancing sustainable agricultural development.

Joe Cunningham, Chief Executive of LOETB commented; “Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board and Teagasc’s collaboration marks a significant milestone in efforts to co- deliver both accredited and non-accredited training programmes to the land-based sector, ensuring its sustainability and viability for futuregenerations, as well as enhancing learner support services for participants in Teagasc educational programmes. By combining our expertise, we aim to provide responsive, comprehensive, and high-quality educational opportunities that will greatly benefit agricultural learners, their families, and the broader agricultural community.

Professor Frank O’Mara, Teagasc Director said;”today represents an exciting new initiative and support for Teagasc learners. We are delighted to work with LOETB and provide new learner support officers. Ourlearners are at the centre of all we do at Teagasc Education. As we equip learners with the key skills, technologies and husbandries across agriculture, horticulture, equine and forestry, we look forward to strengthening our capabilities in learner support services.”

One of the key aspects of this collaboration is the enhancement of Teagasc’s learner support services by LOETB. Recognising the importance of comprehensive support for learners, LOETB will bring its expertise in educational support services to ensure that all participants have access to the resources they need to progress their educational journey.

The partnership between LOETB and Teagasc will take effect immediately, introducing enhanced learnersupport services in agricultural colleges and the development of new agricultural training programmes