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Amenity Horticulture and Conservation

Overview

This page provides high-level information and data on the Amenity Horticulture and Conservation industry which comprises two main industry sectors:

  • Amenity Horticulture and Landscaping
  • Conservation and Land Management.

As of 2016, the industry included 11,051 gardening businesses, 14,751 landscape construction businesses, and 120 conservation operators. The industry is diverse, and businesses and organisations operate across the following sub-sectors:

  • Arboriculture
  • Landscape Services
  • Gardening Services
  • Turf and Sports Turf Management
  • Production Nursery
  • Retail Nursery
  • Nature Reserves and Conservation Parks
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Land Care and Management.

Nationally recognised training for the Amenity Horticulture and Conservation industry is delivered under the AHC – Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package.

For more information and data specific to Amenity Horticulture and Landscaping; Conservation and Land Management; and Production Horticulture please visit the respective pages.

Information sourced from the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Industry cluster snapshot

Employment and training snapshot

Employment levels in occupations related to Amenity Horticulture and Conservation industry cluster in the main increased between 2000 and 2018, with the number of Gardeners nearly doubling. Employment levels in most of these occupations are expected to increase between 2018 and 2023.

There were approximately 18,060 program enrolments in Amenity Horticulture and Conservation-related qualifications during 2018, substantially down from the 24,040 enrolments in the previous year. There were also close to 4,380 program completions, also down from the previous year.

Industry insights on skills needs

The Amenity Horticulture and Conservation industry is diverse and operates in an environment that is shaped by a range of natural factors, as well as by policy frameworks at state/territory, national and international levels. The Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast highlights the need for the right mix of skills to capture the benefits offered by technology. This includes a variety of skills in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, as well as in compliance and leadership. There is also a challenge in terms of the ageing workforce and the need to attract and develop the skills of new employees. 

The Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast points out that climate is a significant issue affecting the sector. Dealing with climate requires multi-faceted and adaptive approaches. One example of this is the Urban Heat Island effect which is raising temperatures in urban areas. To help address this, the development of rooftop and vertical gardens is being encouraged.  

Leveraging the potential in Indigenous land management is also raised in the skills forecast as an opportunity in the sector. As the sills forecast says:

Caring for country is a fundamental foundation for Indigenous cultures in Australia and the North of Australia has significant impacts on economic growth, national climate and Indigenous wellbeing.

One of the challenges for the sector is China’s belt and Road Initiative. The initiative is seen to create risks of ecological changes, disease transmission and the potential for illegal trade in endangered and non-native species. Having said this, the Belt Road Initiative aims to create a big-data platform for environmental protection, and to support projects combatting climate change. 

In addition, the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast lists the following generic skills as relevant for the industry:

  • Learning agility/ information literacy/ intellectual autonomy and self-management (adaptability)
  • Managerial/leadership
  • Financial
  • Technology
  • Science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) skills.

For more information on priority skill needs specific to each Amenity Horticulture and Conservation industry sector please visit the Amenity Horticulture and Landscaping and Conservation and Land Management pages.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Arboriculture Australia

Australian Association of Bush Regenerators (AABR)

Australian Capital Tree Community

Australian Conservation Foundation

Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association

Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association

Australian Institute of Horticulture

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

Australian Institute of Landscape Designers and Managers

Australian National Botanic Gardens

Australian Native Plants Society

Australian Society of Horticultural Science

Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Australian Wildlife Society

Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand Inc.

Centralian Land Management Association

Conservation Volunteers Australia

Director of National Parks

Ecological Society of Australia

Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand

Farm Tree & Landcare Association

Garden Centres Association of Australia

Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Green Roofs Australasia

Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association

Institute of Australian Consulting Arboriculturists

Interior Plantscape Association

International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement

International Plant Propagators Society Australia

International Society of Arboriculture

Landcare Australia

Landscape Industries Association of Tasmania Inc. (LIAT)

Landscape Queensland Industries Assoc. Inc.

Landscaping Australia

Landscaping Industries Association WA Inc. (LIAWA)

Landscaping Victoria

Master Landscapers of SA (MLSA)

National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association

National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia

National Environment Protection Council

National Environmental Law Association

National Landcare Advisory Committee

National Landcare Network

National Landcare Program

National Parks Australia Council

National Urban Forest Alliance

New South Wales Arborist Association

Northern Territory Arboriculture Association

NSW Marine Estate

Nursery and Garden Industry Australia

Parks and Leisure Australia

Parks Australia

Permaculture Australia

Queensland Arboricultural Association

Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA)

Soils for Life

South Australian Society for Arboriculture

Sports Turf Association, Australia

State and Territory Weed Management (Government)

Sustainable Gardening Australia

The Tree Guild of Western Australia

The Wilderness Society

Tree Contractors Association Australia

Turf Australia

Turf Grass Association of Australia

Victorian Tree Industry Organisation

Weeds Australia

WildFlowers Australia

Wildflowers Industry Network NSW Inc

 

Employee associations

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)

Australian Workers' Union (AWU)

 

Relevant research

Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast – Skills Impact

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 2343 Environmental Scientists
    • 3622 Gardeners
    • 3623 Greenkeepers
    • 3624 Nurserypersons
    • 7211 Agricultural, Forestry and Horticultural Plant Operators
    • 8414 Garden and Nursery Labourers
    • 8419 Other Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Occupation Unit Group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1 November 2018 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument

Employed total by ANZSO 4 digit occupation, 2000 to 2018, May quarter

  • 2343 Environmental Scientists
  • 3622 Gardeners
  • 3623 Greenkeepers
  • 3624 Nurserypersons
  • 7211 Agricultural, Forestry and Horticultural Plant Operators
  • 8414 Garden and Nursery Labourers
  • 8419 Other Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 3 digit industry and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce
    • 892 Parks and Gardens Operations.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • AHC – Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package
    • AHC20510 - Certificate II in Arboriculture
    • AHC20513 - Certificate II in Arboriculture
    • AHC20516 - Certificate II in Arboriculture
    • AHC30810 - Certificate III in Arboriculture
    • AHC30816 - Certificate III in Arboriculture
    • AHC41916 - Certificate IV in Arboriculture
    • AHC50510 - Diploma of Arboriculture
    • AHC50516 - Diploma of Arboriculture
    • AHC60516 - Advanced Diploma of Arboriculture
    • AHC80116 - Graduate Diploma of Arboriculture
    • RTF20203 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Arboriculture)
    • RTF30203 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Arboriculture)
    • RTF40203 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Arboriculture)
    • RTF50203 - Diploma of Horticulture (Arboriculture)
    • RUH10298 - Certificate I in Horticulture (Arboriculture)
    • RUH20298 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Arboriculture)
    • RUH30298 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Arboriculture)
    • RUH40298 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Arboriculture)
    • RUH50298 - Diploma of Horticulture (Arboriculture)
    • RUH60298 - Advanced Diploma of Horticulture (Arboriculture)
    • AHC21610 - Certificate II in Landscaping
    • AHC21616 - Certificate II in Landscaping
    • AHC30910 - Certificate III in Landscape Construction
    • AHC30916 - Certificate III in Landscape Construction
    • AHC42016 - Certificate IV in Landscape
    • AHC50610 - Diploma of Landscape Design
    • AHC50616 - Diploma of Landscape Design
    • AHC52016 - Diploma of Landscape Project Management
    • RTF20403 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Landscape)
    • RTF30403 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Landscape)
    • RTF40403 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Landscape)
    • RTF50403 - Diploma of Horticulture (Landscape)
    • RUH10498 - Certificate I in Horticulture (Landscape)
    • RUH20498 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Landscape)
    • RUH30498 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Landscape)
    • RUH40498 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Landscape)
    • RUH50498 - Diploma of Horticulture (Landscape)
    • RUH60498 - Advanced Diploma of Horticulture (Landscape)
    • RTF20603 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Wholesale Nursery)
    • RTF40503 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Retail Nursery)
    • RTF40603 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Wholesale Nursery)
    • RTF50503 - Diploma of Horticulture (Retail Nursery)
    • RTF50603 - Diploma of Horticulture (Wholesale Nursery)
    • RUH10598 - Certificate I in Horticulture (Nursery)
    • RUH20598 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Nursery)
    • RUH30598 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Nursery)
    • RUH40598 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Nursery)
    • RUH50598 - Diploma of Horticulture (Nursery)
    • RUH60598 - Advanced Diploma of Horticulture (Nursery)
    • AHC20710 - Certificate II in Production Nursery
    • AHC20716 - Certificate II in Production Nursery
    • AHC20810 - Certificate II in Retail Nursery
    • AHC20816 - Certificate II in Retail Nursery
    • AHC31110 - Certificate III in Production Nursery
    • AHC31116 - Certificate III in Production Nursery
    • AHC31210 - Certificate III in Retail Nursery
    • AHC31216 - Certificate III in Retail Nursery
    • AHC40610 - Certificate IV in Production Nursery
    • AHC40616 - Certificate IV in Production Nursery
    • AHC40710 - Certificate IV in Retail Nursery
    • AHC40716 - Certificate IV in Retail Nursery
    • AHC50810 - Diploma of Production Nursery Management
    • AHC50816 - Diploma of Production Nursery Management
    • AHC50910 - Diploma of Retail Nursery Management
    • AHC50916 - Diploma of Retail Nursery Management
    • RTF20503 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Retail Nursery)
    • RTF30503 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Retail Nursery)
    • RTF30603 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Wholesale Nursery)
    • AHC20610 - Certificate II in Parks and Gardens
    • AHC20616 - Certificate II in Parks and Gardens
    • AHC31010 - Certificate III in Parks and Gardens
    • AHC31016 - Certificate III in Parks and Gardens
    • AHC40510 - Certificate IV in Parks and Gardens
    • AHC40516 - Certificate IV in Parks and Gardens
    • AHC50710 - Diploma of Parks and Gardens Management
    • AHC50716 - Diploma of Parks and Gardens Management
    • RTF20703 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
    • RTF30703 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
    • RTF40703 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
    • RTF50703 - Diploma of Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
    • RUH10698 - Certificate I in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
    • RUH20698 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
    • RUH30698 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
    • RUH40698 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
    • RUH50698 - Diploma of Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
    • RUH60698 - Advanced Diploma of Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
    • AHC20910 - Certificate II in Sports Turf Management
    • AHC20916 - Certificate II in Sports Turf Management
    • AHC31310 - Certificate III in Sports Turf Management
    • AHC31316 - Certificate III in Sports Turf Management
    • AHC40810 - Certificate IV in Sports Turf Management
    • AHC40812 - Certificate IV in Sports Turf Management
    • AHC40816 - Certificate IV in Sports Turf Management
    • AHC51010 - Diploma of Sports Turf Management
    • AHC51016 - Diploma of Sports Turf Management
    • RTF20803 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Turf)
    • RTF30803 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Turf)
    • RTF40803 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Turf)
    • RTF50803 - Diploma of Horticulture (Turf)
    • RUH10798 - Certificate I in Horticulture (Turf Management)
    • RUH20798 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Turf Management)
    • RUH30798 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Turf Management)
    • RUH40798 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Turf Management)
    • RUH50798 - Diploma of Horticulture (Turf Management)
    • RUH60798 - Advanced Diploma of Horticulture (Turf Management)

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

Updated: 28 Oct 2019
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