This comprehensive programme, aligned with NQF level 5, will be presented from August 2015 to December 2016 and consists of 12 months technical study, followed by a six-month internship on a wine farm or cellar.
Modules that will be covered include communication, mathematics, business management, strategic and farm planning, as well as agricultural value-chain management, natural resource management, plant physiology, plant production management and disease and pest management.
Approximately 30 applications were received, from which 12 students were selected. The prospective students needed to have a minimum Grade 11 or 12 school level education, may not have been permanently employed, and had to undergo screening with regard to literacy and numeracy.
"The empowerment and development of individuals in the South African wine industry is a priority and this is, therefore, a great training opportunity in the industry," said Kachné Ross, VinPro viticulturist and training officer. This qualification serves as a foundation for students to broaden their knowledge in the field of plant production and may lead to further specialisation.
Upon completion of the programme students will be able to obtain farm worker positions and will be economically more active in farming practices with the knowledge they have gained, which will have a direct impact on local economic development.