GROWING INTEREST: TAFE Digital horticulture graduate Alison Jones says TAFE NSW helped her turn her passion into a career.
The nation’s peak horticulture body has backed a TAFE NSW course aimed at “propagating” careers in the industry amid a lockdown-inspired surge in interest in gardening.
Australian Institute of Horticulture president Michael Casey said the Certificate II and III in Horticulture, currently being offered by TAFE Digital, would help the industry build a pipeline of workers to cater for growing demand.
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.
Australian Institute of Horticulture (AIH) president Michael Casey said the Certificate II and III in Horticulture, currently being offered by TAFE Digital, 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.
“Horticulture is more than just a hobby, it’s a career. The AIH promotes our members who are qualified, experienced professionals and these certificates are a great place to start”
TAFE Digital Head Teacher of Primary Industries Wayne Brouwer, a horticulturalist by trade, said the recent spate of lockdowns and people working from home had sparked fresh interest in gardening as a career.
“There is a real renewed interest because people are spending more time in their gardens and finding they have a real passion for it,” Mr Brouwer said.
“We are seeing many more career-changers enquire and enrol in TAFE Digital horticulture courses.
“The TAFE Digital courses are fully online and allow students to study at their own pace, where and when it suits them most.”
Mr Brouwer said enrolments were open anytime, with the Certificate II in Horticulture running for 12 months part-time and the Certificate III for 18 months part-time.
Mum of three Alison Jones is one of many career-changers to secure a job in horticulture after gaining the practical skills from TAFE Digital.
Ms Jones, 44, who formerly worked in hospitality and agriculture, always had an interest in gardening but decided to parlay it into a career when COVID-19 hit in 2020.
After earning a Certificate III in Horticulture, she was offered a job as a horticulturalist at the iconic Mayfield Garden in Oberon.
“My closest TAFE NSW campus was nearly two hours away so to be able to do the course online through TAFE Digital was great,” Ms Jones said. “The teachers were so experienced and responsive, and I was able to study when it suited me.
“It’s such a nurturing job and really is a lifestyle. You’re getting back to nature and you’re working outdoors, so it’s really good for your health and wellbeing.”
To learn more about how TAFE Digital could help you grow a gardening career, call 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au
Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428