Workwise Horticulture Course helping English language students gain skills for employment

Published on: 13 Oct 2021

Figure 1. Photo supplied with permission from Workwise Horticulture student Alexander Florez

A TasTAFE horticulture course is helping migrants and humanitarian entrants gain the skills for employment.

Ten TasTAFE English Language Services Students have been enrolled in an eight-week Certificate I Horticulture Skill Set, funded through the Department of Communities Tasmania.

Workwise is an employment preparation program designed to assist Humanitarian entrants and other migrants with intermediate English language skills who are seeking entry-level jobs or access into vocational education and training (VET).

This year’s Workwise program aims to provide students with sufficient horticulture knowledge to partake in two weeks of work placement in related industries e.g., plant nurseries, large commercial and not-for-profit gardens and horticulture training centres (TasTAFE), hopefully leading to paid employment in the future within the industry. The skills and experiences gained during the course also help students in creating new relationships and gaining confidence in their own abilities

For two days a week the students attend TasTAFE’s Clarence Campus where they learn and put into practice content from the three Cert 1 Horticulture units that they are enrolled in, Supported by horticulture teacher Glynn Howells and teaching assistant Mike Crellin. The practical application of their training includes occupational work health and safety, preparing and improving lawn, maintaining equipment, constructing enclosed garden beds, mulching, and propagating.

Teachers are also supported by TasTAFE’s English Language Services teacher, Jacqui Spongberg, who works with the students two days a week in the classroom, teaching employability skills, introducing horticulture related English and supporting the students to make video journals and preparing them for their assessments.

Soon the students will begin their work placements, putting into practice all the skills they have gained and the knowledge they have learnt.