Winemaking, viticulture and horticulture courses for Victorian students
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Winemaking, viticulture and horticulture courses for Victorian students

Winemaking, viticulture and horticulture courses now available for Victorian students

Students in Victoria are now able to access Vocational Education and Training Certificate (VET) courses in Horticulture, Viticulture or Winemaking with hands-on experience with local wineries and vineyards.

Partnering with the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula Local Learning and Employment Network (FMPLLEN), schools and students are now able to access Vocational Education and Training Certificate (VET) courses in Horticulture, Viticulture or Winemaking with hands-on experience.

Across Australia, the wine industry has felt the acute pinch of labour shortages this harvest season, prompting Mornington Peninsula Wine to work directly with their local learning and employment network, to provide local students with active vocational pathways for career development in the Mornington Peninsula wine industry.

A growing demand for agricultural graduates, restrictions on travel and access to skilled visa holders since the start of the pandemic, along with ongoing economic uncertainty, and a four percent unemployment rate, has placed an intense strain on the wine industry’s labour market.

Mornington Peninsula Wine Chief Executive Officer, Olivia Barrie said the sector directly and indirectly employs nearly 164,000 people across the country, yet relies heavily on seasonal workers, including skilled international contractors to support the annual wine grape harvest and ongoing production needs.

“The Mornington Peninsula’s wine industry is worth nearly $200 million to our local economy, and it offers many diverse roles and career opportunities. “The sector is experiencing labour and skills shortages, which is keenly felt across viticulture and vineyard management and more widely across winery, business and logistics also,” said Barrie.

“The same labour challenges are true for many sectors in Australian agriculture, so we are leading a proactive initiative to foster an inclusive, diverse and highly talented workforce right here on the Mornington Peninsula.” Barrie said. Mornington Peninsula Wine’s effort to increase the intake of local students into the industry has begun with an awareness campaign for schools and career counsellors, so they understand the opportunities available. Manager, Industry Engagement and Structured Workplace Learning at FMPLLEN, Angela Byatt said the key purpose of the program is to connect schools and students with industry, “For the 29 schools in our region, this program fosters stronger connections with the wine industry and business. The state government’s focus on applied vocational learning pairs perfectly with this initiative and we know the schools and students are especially grateful for actual connections they are making in our community.”

“This type of partnership empowers students with the confidence to explore wine and viticulture as a career option, and to network with the right people who might one day be a future employer, mentor or colleague,” she said. “We are really excited to be working with Mornington Peninsula Wine. We see this as the start of an enduring partnership and look forward to growing and promoting career pathways into the wine industry for young people in our region.”

Launched in March 2022, two vocational placements have already been made this year and several work experience students have participated in the grape harvest at various wineries over recent weeks. Students with a passion or interest in the outdoors, nature, science, creativity, maths, horticulture, farming, or physical activity are ideally suited to roles available within the industry such as vineyard hands, viticulturists, laboratory analysts, winemakers, or cellar hands.

Schools and students interested in a career in wine or viticulture can contact FMPLLEN on 03 8679 3422.

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