OGI Work Placement Programme

OGI Work Placement

Applications closing soon!

 

Deadline for late applications extended to 29th February

Please contact Rónán at placement@organicgrowersireland.ie for up to date information on the placements still available and he will guide you through the application process.

About the Programme

This programme consists of a 6-9 month horticultural work placement supported by a training programme of in depth classes, practical workshops and farm walks. Participants will work a minimum of 30 hours/week over six months on a well-established organic, horticultural farm in Ireland and are employed directly by the individual farms. The OGI oversees the recruitment of the interns and organises and delivers the training programme.

Previously titled the OGI Internship, it was established by the Organic Growers of Ireland in 2014 and is funded on an annual basis by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Application Criteria & Guidance

  • Applicants should have a horticultural qualification QQI level 5 (or equivalent) and/or a minimum of six months work experience on a farm.
  • It is recommended that applicants should clearly demonstrate in their application their commitment to organic growing, as well their physical ability and experience in working outdoors.
  • Applicants must not have previously taken part in any OGI Work Placement / Internship programme. 
  • If you are applying from outside the EU you must already have an Irish working visa in place before applying. We do not organise working visas.

The Training Programme

The formal training programme consists of:

  • Six workshops and classes over the period of your work placement delivered by growers and experts across the organic sector. The workshops will cover core subjects such Soils, Propagation, Health and Safety, Pest, Weed and Disease Management, Business and Marketing, High value crops, Machinery and more.
  • Includes Organic Principles & Standards module with participants producing an organic conversion plan, exploring routes to market and completing end of year exam to gain certificate.
  • A series of six farm walks on some of the best organic farms in the country, with a focus on each farms working model and the crops they specialise in.

Accreditation

A Certificate of Completion will be issued to each intern from the Organic Growers of Ireland for the successful completion of:

  • Work placement on their host farm (minimum 30 hours per week over a minimum of 6 months).
  • Attendance at all workshops and farm walks.
  • 25 hour block module in Organic Principles and Standards (QQI Level 5) and exam.

 

HOW TO APPLY – FEBRUARY 2024

Please contact Rónán at placement@organicgrowersireland.ie for up to date information on the placements still available and he will guide you through the application process.

Find out about our Host Farms

To read more detailed information about the Host Farms taking part in the Work Placement Programme, please download our Host Farm Profile document below. 

      To see the full list of 2024 Host Farms, please click here.

      Download an Application Form

      To apply for the programme please download an application form below.

      Return your completed form to our Programme Coordinator Rónán by email: placement@organicgrowersireland.ie.

      Availability of placements at our Host Farms are subject to change. We will always do our best to match you with the most suitable Host Farm available.

      Central Aim of the OGI Work Placement Programme in Horticulture

      • Provide a high standard of practical skills and knowledge transfer with the aim of leading to employment within organic horticulture.
      • Develop an understanding of sustainable organic systems of farming based upon biological and environmental concepts.
      • Develop an understanding of the economics of running a successful horticultural enterprise.

      The programme aims to stimulate the personal development and confidence of interns, in their own ability to think for themselves and embrace new technologies. The programme will help bridge the gap between students who have completed horticultural courses, or have some practical work experience, and give them the confidence to start up their own horticultural enterprise, or take on the management of an existing horticultural enterprise.

      Role of the OGI in the OGI Work Placement Programme in Horticulture

      • The OGI have employed an Internship Programme Coorindator to deliver the Programme.
      • The OGI will oversee the recruitment of interns to the individual host farms.
      • The OGI will organise and deliver the formal training programe.
      • The OGI will issue Certificates of Completion to the intern group.
      • The OGI Internship Coordinator will be available to interns to discuss the programme and provide support as required.

      Role of the Host Farm in the OGI Work Placement Programme in Horticulture

      • Provide paid employment according to the national minimum wage standards for employees on a structured training programme.
      • Ensure the farm is a safe place to work, and that good health and safety procedures are adhered to.
      • Provide a minimum of 30 hours’ work per week for a minimum of six months.
      • Provide the opportunity to work in as many different areas of production as possible, as well as explaining the business planning, budgeting, marketing and longer term planning of the business.
      • Provide regular one to one mentoring.
      • Allow flexibility for trainees to attend formal training days associated with the Internship Programme.
      • Host one farm walk on their own farm for all apprentices.

      Testimonials

      I completed the internship in organic horticulture in 2015. The host farm was Beechlawn Organic Farm in Ballinasloe, owned and operated by Padraig Fahy and Una Ni Bhroin. I found the internship was the ideal way for me to learn the practical skills needed to start my own horticultural enterprise. There was a good mix of classroom learning along with farm walks and the invaluable practical learning gained while working on an organic vegetable farm. It gave me a great insight into the realities and challenges involved in growing organic vegetables and also the confidence to set up my own market garden.

      I currently operate a 1 acre market garden that supplies 1 local shop and 2 local farmers markets. I would highly recommend the ogi apprenticeship. The knowledge, skills, confidence, contacts and friends I gained through completing the internship have equipped me very well to set up and run my own horticultural enterprise.

      Conor Foxton

      Redwood Market Garden

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