GOTAFE, in partnership with Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses magazine, have announced the launch of an online Certificate III in Production Horticulture course at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA2015), being held in Abu Dhabi, United Arabs Emirates. The GOTAFE Certificate III is the first Australian accredited Production Horticulture course to be offered online to overseas participants. The online course is particularly aimed at owner/managers and farm hands employed in the greenhouse horticulture industry.
“A key element to the success of sustainable food production, to feed a growing global population, is relevant training programs,” said Steven Carruthers, Publisher and Managing Editor of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses magazine.
“Over the next several years and decades, the demand for high-quality, nutritious food will grow, as will the importance of training programs to ensure successful food production outcomes.
Mr Carruthers added that Australia is noted for its clean, green image, and the GOTAFE online courses reflect Australia’s high standard in greenhouse horticulture production.
“Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses is proud to support the GOTAFE series of certificate courses, which are stepping stones to higher education including, but not limited to, university training where graduates can specialise in horticultural interests,” said Mr Carruthers.
An innovative feature of the GOTAFE online courses is the adaptability of the training platform, which can be modified to meet individual horticultural interest and activities. Its editing features ensure training programs remain up-to-date.
“The great thing about the platform we are using is that we can quickly edit the content; add links to articles; add new information; and, keep it relevant and up-to-date,” said Leigh Taig, the principle trainer, Controlled Environment Horticulture, at GOTAFE.
Mr Taig said that training programs such as the GOTAFE series of online courses will fill a gap in the international horticulture training market, with affordable courses conveniently accessible to growers and farm hands, wherever they are located.
“Although there are no admission qualification requirements for the Certificate III in Production Horticulture course, participants should have basic literacy and numeracy skills and be employed or seeking a career path in a relevant horticultural business,” said Mr Taig.
On completion of the online Certificate III in Production Horticulture, graduates will be able to maintain hydroponic systems, implement a plant nutrition program, install irrigation systems, operate fertigation equipment, implement a propagation plan, collect and record production data, operate/maintain machinery and equipment in a workplace-based environment, and co-ordinate work site activities, among other on-farm activities.