Futureproofing employment in the horticulture industry

The next generation of horticulture workers are set to be trained using the latest virtual picking technology.

A workforce training partnership between the Costa Group and Melbourne Polytechnic will ensure students are given the critical skills they need to be future ready.

The $1.62 million Government funded project is aimed at enhancing profitability and employment in the horticultural industry under the Workforce Training Innovation Fund (WTIF).

The training will adopt virtual picking technologies to allow both field workers and trainers to experience work in the field prior to commencing work, with the capacity for multi-lingual delivery platforms and coherence in the education model across all harvest products.

The project will contribute to increased productivity by reducing worker turnover and workplace injuries, improving safety and reducing product wastage, through training for the following cohorts across the horticulture industry:

  • field workers
  • disengaged youth
  • seasonal workers

The project will deliver a condensed course structure that will reflect the real-world nature of the industry, by allowing field workers to follow the harvest trail across the State with high employability skills.

In a sector that relies on seasonal workers and temporary residents, this program will ensure they are ready to get the job done safely and effectively.