Plumpton College Viticulture Apprenticeship
This Apprenticeship is designed to operate as the professional standard for people working as a vineyard operative in the UK wine industry.
The UK wine industry is rapidly expanding, in an unprecedented manner, and the need for technically trained effective vineyard operatives is at an all-time high. With the skills acquired, an apprenticeship can provide many opportunities to work in a global industry offering many career paths.
What does a viticulture apprenticeship involve?
The viticulture apprenticeship will provide you with all the skills necessary to become a Vineyard Operative; responsible for carrying out operations relating to the establishment and management of vineyards in line with employer’s requirements. It is their job to ensure that vineyards are established according to best practice and that grapevines are managed all year round to ensure that a reliable, sustainable supply of high-quality grapes are provided to wineries at harvest.
The vineyard is a complex and dynamic environment and apprentices will be taught within an appropriate health and safety framework, to make and carry out informed decisions in key areas, including:
- Vineyard establishment,
- Pruning and trellis management,
- Canopy management in spring and summer,
- Pest and disease control,
- Yield estimation and yield management,
- Maturity estimation and harvesting,
- Environmental sustainability,
- Machinery and equipment use.
Endorsed by Wines of Great Britain(WineGB), the college developed this government approved new Level 3 Crop Technician Apprenticeship standard into a new Viticulture Apprenticeship, which is delivered on a national basis.
In addition, the apprentices get their PA1, PA3 (spray licences) and First Aid at work certificates.
The skills required, along with underpinning theory, will be taught on the commercial Plumpton College vineyard at Rock Lodge in ten weekly blocks over a two-year period. The weekly blocks will be supplemented with student use of the Plumpton College VLE (virtual learning environment) dedicated to the Viticulture Apprenticescheme.
The next intake will be the beginning of 2021.
Are you an employer, interested in finding out more about the viticulture apprenticeship?