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Parks and Gardens Apprentices get hands-on learning on TAFE grounds

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

The lush surroundings of Wodonga TAFE’s McKoy street campus have been getting a slight makeover as we inch ever so slowly to the end of this bitterly cold winter.

Our current Parks and Gardens apprentices were on site, tools in hand, showing off their learned skills by maintaining the new and established shrubs and trees.

As the weather begins to improve the garden will begin to show off this new growth and the old trees will thrive with renewed glamour. Providing our campus with a beautiful landscape for students and staff to enjoy.

Certificate III in Parks and Gardens is a four-year apprenticeship, offering students the skills and knowledge to work in a range of jobs as an assistant or a tradesperson in a parks and gardens setting such as businesses with extensive grounds, botanic gardens, public and private parks and government. Topics covered are such things as plant recognition and growth habits, machinery operation, turf establishment and maintenance plus soils, weeds, chemical use and pests and diseases.

Apprentices are employed by local councils, retirement villages, or other large organisations that have a wider variety of garden maintenance required. During their employment they attend TAFE for the theory and practical learning on block release throughout the year.

Some of the tasks that were recently completed by our current students were

  • Hedging
  • Crown reduction – which is the reduction in overall size of the crown of a tree by cutback branches to a suitable growth point
  • Pollarding - all branches are removed back to a framework of secondary branches off the main stem.

Current apprentice, Lang, who previously worked in the hospitality industry for 20 years, running a number of pubs around the local area, told us why he started an apprenticeship with the Council.

“With family circumstance changes, family time became a larger priority and the hours required to run a pub took its toll,” he explains.

“I always enjoyed being outdoors and had planned to complete a Horticulture course before seeing an opportunity to begin a Parks & Gardens apprenticeship with the Wodonga Council.  I decided to apply and was fortunate enough to get the opportunity.”

“The work-life balance offered by the council is perfect for my situation, and what isn’t there to love about working outdoors?”

Working for the council Lang completes a range of work in high profile areas, including maintaining all grass/plant decorated roundabouts, Gateway Island and any council run preschools. There is lots of variety in this role, keeping it interesting and challenging for garden staff.

Wodonga TAFE offers a large variety of courses in the Agriculture & Horticulture industry. There are different streams to suit students career desires. If you would like to know more about these courses visit our website www.wodongatafe.edu.au/courses/agriculture-horticulture or call our customer service team for further enquiries on 1300 698 233.

 

 

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