Crop Technician (Viticulture)

Level 3 Apprenticeship

Duties of the viticulturist include monitoring and controlling pests and diseases, fertilising, irrigation, canopy management, monitoring fruit development and characteristics, harvest decisions, and vine pruning during the winter months.

Viticulturists are often intimately involved with winemakers, because vineyard management and the resulting grape characteristics provide the basis from which winemaking can begin.

The role requires self-motivation and the ability to work both independently and as a team player to complete tasks safely and efficiently. A lot of time is spent outdoors in all weathers, so resilience and drive are imperative to be successful.

The course will also incorporate a range of competency certificates, such as first aid and pesticide application.

What apprentices will learn

  • Pest & disease management
  • Yield forecasting & management
  • Pruning & trellising
  • Canopy management
  • Vineyard floor management
  • Vineyard establishment
  • Principles of plant growth and development of plant health
  • Harvest planning and management
  • Vineyard nutrition application and irrigation tasks if applicable to aid growth of crops
  • Promote and maintain health & safety and standard operating procedures
  • Vineyard machinery & equipment
  • Impact of machinery n soil structure and potential damage
  • Maintence of non-productive areas
  • Managing accurate records within the workplace
  • Environmental issues/legislation, codes of practice and company policies
  • Relationship between environmental conditions (including weather), plant protection methods and crop growth
  • The importance of maintaining systems for record keeping and storage within the organisation
  • Quality standards

Qualifications Awarded

  • Apprenticeship Certificate
  • Level 3 award in emergency first aid at work
  • Level 2 in Maths and English (if applicable)
  • PA1 Safe use of pesticides (pre requisite of PA3)
  • PA3 Air assisted sprayer

Delivery model

10 weekly blocks of teaching (5 blocks each academic year, August-July) split between the college's main campus and Rock Lodge Vineyard.

Course details

Dates & Location

Next cohort enrolment in May 2024 onwards with commencement of the first block week at college in June 2024


Typically 24 months (some apprentices could complete sooner depending on their previous experience and qualifications, their perfomance during the apprenticeship and the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in the workplace) practical period with 6-month End Point Assessment window.


Costs to the employer for the training and external assessment will be dependent on several factors such as age of apprentice and size (number of employees) of the business. Please contact our Business Services team on 01273 892127 for more information.

Additional Costs

Full board accomodation at Plumpton College is available for apprentices who require it for the delivery an additional cost. 

Entry Requirements

To enrol onto an apprenticeship programme you need to be employed with a contract of employment. If you have an employer lined up or are already employed please contact our Business Services team on 01273 892127 or via email.

You must be in a role that will allow you the opportunity to develop the necessary skills, knowledge and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship. Additionally, apprentices must have a working level of maths and English that will allow successful achievement of level 1 functional skill prior to the end point assessment.

Prior to enrolment potential apprentices will be required to complete;

  • Maths and English assessment
  • Existing skills, knowledge and behaviour assessment

If you do not currently have an employer please visit the main Apprenticeships page for guidance on how to find and apply for an apprenticeship opportunity or register for our Talent Bank service.

If you are an employer and would like to recruit or enrol an existing employee onto an apprenticeship please contact our Business Services team on  01273 892127 or via email.


  • Plumpton Wine Division is the UK’s centre of excellence for wine education, training and research.
  • Since offering its first wine courses in 1988, the College has grown to include a 10-hectare vineyard and dedicated Wine Centre, offering the UK’s only viticulture focused apprenticeship programme, endorsed by WineGB.
  • Apprentices will receive a discount on our LandPro Training suite of qualifications and assessments e.g. LANTRA Tractor Driving or Awareness of Integrated Weed Management 

Ready to take the next step?