The five-year partnership provides TAFE Queensland horticulture students with work experience opportunities, which will see them maintaining green spaces across the Brisbane region.
“It's a job that will always be in demand because every day we’re working with nature, and nature never stops,” says Andrew Milner, Educational Team Leader, Horticulture at TAFE Queensland.
“While the pandemic has been a challenging time for apprentices, partnerships like this are vital as nothing can replace hands-on training in the outdoors,” he said.
"Our partnerships with industry enable our students to access unique, work-integrated learning, which leads to successful job outcomes."
Through this partnership, horticulture apprentices studying a Certificate III in Parks and Gardens (AHC31016) work with Brisbane City Council to mow, prune, trim and look after green spaces in Mt Coot-tha, the City Botanical Gardens, New Farm Park and other suburban parks and gardens.
“While the partnership can lead to job opportunities at Brisbane City Council, it also places every participant in a better position to gain employment after completing their course,” continues Andrew.
There are currently eight TAFE Queensland apprentices working with Brisbane City Council, helping to maintain gardens around the city and the council-owned golf courses.
Andrew is also confident that careers in horticulture will survive the current pandemic and beyond.
“They’re jobs that will always be in demand — pandemics come and go but the grass still needs clipping and trees still need trimming.”
Andrew says the hands-on nature of the industry means that partnerships like this are essential for students to apply their skills in the real world.
“Horticulture is something that has to be taught in a hands-on environment. When it comes to learning how to control plant pests and diseases, maintaining trees, and operating irrigation systems our students need to be out in the field doing it.”
Brisbane City Council’s Harry van Dijk said the council was proud to provide apprentices with access to the industry where their training can lead to real employment within horticulture’s jobs of the future.
“A partnership like ours benefits both the apprentice and the industry. We create a unique job-based learning environment for students and our parks are maintained, ensuring the city’s residents have a consistent world-class park experience across our region,” Harry concluded.