Vineyard Assistant/Crop Technician

  • Company: Biddenden Vineyards
  • Closing Date: 01-04-2020
  • Location: TN27 8DF
  • Salary: To be agreed upon appointment
  • Contact Email: Hamish.dow@plumpton.ac.uk

Description

Biddenden Vineyards are looking for a Vineyard Assistant. This is mostly outdoor work and is an opportunity for someone who wants a career in one of the UK's fastest growing Business's. Part of the job is to study a Viticulture Apprenticeship at the renowned Plumpton College for 2 years. It is ideal for someone aspiring to be a Vineyard Manager.

The Vineyard has an opportunity for an Apprentice with an aspiration to move into Vineyard Management through the level 3 apprenticeship in Crop Production (Viticulture). 

Candidates should be interested in furthering their career in the industry, and have experience of all year outdoor working

Duties to include:

  • Manual viticulture practices - maintaining vineyards and surrounding areas in check. (winter pruning, canopy management etc.)
  • Machinery operations, mowing, trimming, cultivation, spraying
  • Harvesting – carry out harvesting, including assessment of timing and quality
  • Off season - trellising installation, repairs
  • Maintenance & preparation of Soil - to ensure efficient & healthy growth of the crop/plant; Soil sampling to ensure appropriate nutrition is correct
  • Other farm and vinery work during quieter periods of the Viticulture season

Desired skills

  • Tractor skills
  • Forklift skills
  • A willingness to learn or improve viticultural skills
  • Experience of working outdoors
  • A valid UK driving Licence is required due to the nature of the role, for operation of machinery

Personal qualities

  • Self-motivating - some tasks and responsibilities may be carried out by the apprentice by themselves
  • The ability to work alone without supervision is key
  • People - Team working; ability to work with and instruct others to complete tasks
  • Professional Attitude at all times to other employees and Customers
  • Adaptability and Flexibility - a wide range of tasks need completing in vineyards, and they may change on a daily basis

Desired qualifications

4 to 5 GCSE's (or equivalent) - including maths & English. Additional learning support in maths & English can be offered. The course is of A level standard  - the ability to learn and revise by oneself is crucial.

Future prospects

The level 3 Apprenticeship (Crop technician, Viticulture) is an ideal qualification for those aspiring to take a senior position in vineyard management. The 2 year course is designed to develop knowledge and skills of apprentices so they can in several years’ time take a more senior role.

Things to consider

The Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage guide (ANMW): https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

About the employer

Here at Biddenden Vineyards, Kent’s original vineyard, we pride ourselves on being a family run vineyard with the second and third generation of the Barnes family managing the estate.

Biddenden Vineyards celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019, an exciting milestone to have reached at an exciting time for English, and especially Kentish wine.  The family is able to draw on 5 decades of winemaking knowledge and pair this with new methods & techniques to ensure that Biddenden is at the forefront of the English wine industry.

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