Sinn Féin councillor Conor D. McGuinness has said that the Government must intervene to address the disruption seen in the Green Cert applications system.
Conor McGuinness said:
“Students were told that they had secured places on Green Cert courses. Only after paying their fees were they informed that a mistake had been made.
“Refunds have been issued but the problem is far from resolved. The prospective students now have no place.
“Sinn Féin has written to the Minister to urge him to work closely with the education providers to maximise places for this year. The 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 real knock-on impact on farming careers and incomes.
“Young people cannot get into farming if the government is unable to provide the necessary training required to become a qualified farmer.
“Every year we have a situation where young people have to scramble for a limited number of places on Green Cert courses.
“Additional course places should have been created to meet the level of demand in advance of the opening of applications. There is just no excuse for this shortage.”