Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills Carol Nolan TD has said that the increase in interest through CAO for Agricultural courses is welcome and has expressed concern at the fall in numbers applying for nursing courses.
Teachta Nolan said, “The 17% increase in CAO applications for Agricultural courses is very positive.
“Farming and the Agri-food sector are the backbone of rural Ireland and it is heartening to see such strong interest in young people considering a future in this sector.
She stated that Ireland has a strong reputation internationally for the quality of its Agri-food and drink produce, which has seen an increase of 3% in exports in 2015 according to figures from Bord Bia.
Deputy Nolan continued, "Given the fact that 41% of our exports go to Britain, there is an onus on the Government to seek to protect and strengthen this sector in the course of the negotiations.
“The 10% drop in applications for nursing courses is concerning but not surprising, given the chaos in our health system at present. It is little wonder that young people are rethinking entering the nursing profession and this is reflective of the difficulties in retaining nursing graduates and attracting emigrant nurses from abroad.
“It is clear that much more needs to be done to address this issue if we are to retain sufficient levels of nursing staff and the Government must take real action to ensure that the working terms and conditions of nurses are attractive options for young people and those working in the profession.”