Following the successful graduation of the first cohort of 10 nationwide viticulture apprentices, Plumpton College will again be running this programme from March.
Spaces are still available on the course and the East Sussex-based college hopes to hear from wine producers who are keen for their would-be apprentices to take part.
A blended delivery model has been created to provide apprentices with online theory teaching mixed with attendance at Plumpton wine division on 10 block placements, over a two-year period, designed around the seasonal requirements and tasks of a vineyard. Apprentices obtain PA1 and PA3 certificates as well as first aid at work. Onsite accommodation is available meaning the programme is nationally accessible.
“The benefits of training an employee via an apprenticeship scheme is that the government will contribute at least 95% of the cost of the training which means that an employer would benefit from their apprentice receiving £15,000 worth of viticulture training and assessment for a maximum of £750,” commented Plumpton College principal Jeremy Kerswell.
“We are delighted with how well the pilot viticulture apprenticeship scheme has run, particularly during a time that has been so difficult for so many.”
The college has worked closely with Wine GB and land-based sector bodies. to design a course that meets industry needs.
Dr Greg Dunn, head of Plumpton wine division, said: “We dedicate experienced tutors and assessors including guest speakers to enhance the apprentice’s learning experience. This innovative, agile approach to delivery with both practical training at the college’s vineyard alongside online theory teaching and progress reviews via MS Teams, is an excellent combination for the future workforce.”