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A new course at TAFE NSW Ulladulla is giving community members a chance to get their hands dirty learning skills to expand or start careers in horticulture.
The Introduction to Horticulture course provides training for people who are interested in working in horticulture or those hoping to expand their skills.
TAFE NSW Horticulture teacher Paul Clarke said the diverse group from across the community included some students from charity and NDIS service provider Yumaro.
“While some students are improving their skills to work in the Mullala Nursery, other students are using the course to gain hands-on skills to get their foot in the door with an employer from the horticulture industry.
“This course is an excellent taster for students who might want to enrol in the nationally accredited Certificate II in Horticulture which will be running at the Ulladulla Campus from April 28.
The nation’s peak horticulture body has backed the TAFE NSW course, with Australian Institute of Horticulture (AIH) president Michael Casey saying the Certificate II in Horticulture, would help the industry build a pipeline of workers to cater for growing demand.
“We’ve seen incredible growth in the horticulture industry over the past few years as people are increasingly looking for jobs that are more sustainable both environmentally and financially,” he said. The AIH promotes our members who are qualified, experienced professionals and these certificates are a great place to start.”
According to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook, the gardening services industry is set for strong growth in the next three years, generating annual revenue of nearly $3 billion by 2024.
TAFE NSW student and Racecourse Beach resident Dane Reece enrolled in the course in the hope of boosting his horticulture knowledge before applying for work in the sector.
“This TAFE NSW course is a steppingstone for me applying for work with National Parks and Wildlife Service.
“I have been a Landcare volunteer and I’m passionate about the environment and interested to learn skills that will help me secure a job in that field. Our teacher has industry connections and extensive horticultural knowledge. We’ve learned about soil types, soil testing, plant pests and some plant identification,” Mr Reece said.
Yumaro CEO Mark Brantingham said the skills the students learn in the course were the types of skills that could lead to employment opportunities at the Yumaro Garden Centre.
“Some of the people with disabilities who we employ are doing this course which is expanding their opportunities at our nursery. By improving their skills and knowledge course they might be able to take on greater roles and expand their careers through the Yumaro Garden Centre.
To learn more about the range of courses available at TAFE NSW visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
Media contact: Adam Wright, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0466 375 552.