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Production Horticulture

Overview

This page provides information and data on Production Horticulture, which is one component of the Agricultural industry. Production Horticulture includes the following sections:

  • Floriculture production
  • Vegetable growing
  • Fruit tree growing
  • Nut tree growing
  • Viticulture.

While it is acknowledged that Nursery Production and Retail Nursery are relevant to Production Horticulture, for the purposes of this website, information on these are included in the Amenity Horticulture and Landscaping page within the Amenity Horticulture and Conservation industry cluster.

Nationally recognised training for agricultural operations and services is delivered under the AHC – Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package, which is managed by the Agriculture and Production Horticulture IRC. Qualifications in this sector are varied and include:

  • Production Horticulture
  • Horticulture
  • Floriculture
  • Viticulture.

For more information and data specific to Agribusiness, and Agricultural Operations and Services please visit the respective pages.

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

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment in almost all Production Horticulture industry sectors declined between 2001 and 2021, except for Agriculture (not further defined), which has grown over this period, peaking in 2014. However, employment levels are projected to increase between 2021 and 2025 in some industries, including Sheep, Beef Cattle and Grain Farming, Fruit and Nut Tree Growing, Nursery and Floriculture, and Other Crop Growing.

Similarly, there was an overall decline in numbers employed in occupations relevant to Production Horticulture industry sectors between 2001 and 2021. However, employment in the same period grew in two occupations, namely Gardeners and Farmers and Farm Managers (not further defined).

Employment levels projected to grow between 2021 and 2025 include Farmers and Farm Managers (not further defined), Crop Farmers, Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmers, and Mixed crop and Livestock Farm Workers.

Overall, Crop Farmers comprise the largest proportion (15%) of the Production Horticulture sector’s total workforce, followed by Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmers (10%). Employment projections to 2025 indicate limited change to the proportions of each VET related occupation in this sector.

Training trends

Training snapshot

In 2020 there were approximately 15,840 program enrolments in qualifications relating to Production Horticulture, Horticulture, Floriculture and Viticulture. There were more than 3,580 completions. Enrolments steadily decreased between 2016 and 2018, before increasing in 2019 and slightly in 2020. Completions follow a similar pattern except in 2020.

Almost half (49%) of program enrolments were at certificate III level, closely followed by enrolments at certificate II level (43%) and almost all were in horticulture qualifications (95%). The most likely intended occupations for these qualifications are Gardener (General) (55%) and Garden Labourer (43%).

Overall, TAFE institutes delivered about 60% of Production Horticulture related training in 2020, with private training providers delivering approximately 23% and community education providers delivering 9%. The training was predominantly government subsidised (87%), and approximately 9% was funded through domestic fee for service arrangements.

About three-quarters students enrolled a production horticulture or related qualification in 2020 were in Victoria, Queensland (both 26% each) and New South Wales (25%). More than a third of training in 2020 delivered in New South Wales (34%), followed by Victoria (26%), Queensland (21%). About 9% of training was delivered in Western Australia.

Apprenticeship and traineeship commencements rose between 2011 and 2013, before declining to approximately 730 in 2016. Since this time, commencements have steadily increased, reaching about 990 in 2020. Apprenticeship and traineeship completions peaked in 2014 at more than 880, before decreasing to 420 in 2017. In 2020, approximately 460 completions were recorded. The main intended occupations for the apprenticeships and traineeships were Gardener (General) and Garden Labourer.

South Australia had the highest proportion of apprentices and trainees in training (26%) in 2020, followed by Victoria (25%) and New South Wales (21%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry group or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly significant on those Production Horticulture businesses that are highly exposed to changes in the labour market structure.

Further, it appears the labour effects are not homogenous, with small to medium-sized businesses more affected, as reported in Queensland AgTrends 2020-21 in the fruit and vegetable producers, as well as floristry (cut flowers), and by the Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated. The closure of cellar doors, restaurants, cafes and bars removed a primary route to market, with small, family-owned businesses hit particularly hard. For the wine industry, these closures followed a long, dry period during which bushfires (or smoke) impacted many of Australia’s wine growing regions, resulting in reduced harvests and reduction in regional wine-tourism. The industry has also been impacted by trade actions.

Analysis of priority skills is available in the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2019-2022 Skills Forecast. Further information is also available on the Agriculture Cluster page.

Links and resources

IRC and Skills Forecasts

 

Relevant research

Queensland AgTrends 2020–21: Forecasts and Trends in Queensland Agricultural, Fisheries and Forestry Production - Queensland Government

2021-22 Pre-Budget Submission  - Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Agribusiness Australia

Almond Board of Australia

Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL)

Arboriculture Australia

Australian Asparagus Council

Australian Banana Growers' Council

Australian Blueberry Growers' Association

Australian Cane Farmers Association

Australian Cotton Shippers Association

Australian Custom Harvesters

Australian Farm Institute

Australian Fodder Industry Association

Australian Institute of Horticulture

Australian Lychee Growers Association

Australian Macadamia Society Ltd

Australian Mango Industry Association

Australian Melon Association Inc.

Australian Mungbean Association

Australian Mushroom Growers’ Association Ltd

Australian Nut Industry Council

Australian Oilseeds Federation

Australian Olive Association

Australian Organic

Australian Organics Recycling Association

Australian Pecan Growers Association Inc.

Australian Seed Federation

Australian Seeds Authority

Australian Society of Horticultural Science

Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology

Australian Sunflower Association

Australian Sweetpotato Growers Inc.

Australian Table Grape Association

Australian Vignerons

AUSVEG

Avocados Australia Ltd

Barley Australia

Bean Growers Australia

Canegrowers

Cherry Growers Australia Inc.

Chestnuts Australia Inc.

Citrus Australia

Corporate Agriculture Australia

Cotton Australia

Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC)

Crop Consultants Australia

Crop Pollination Association

Custard Apples Australia

Dried Fruits Australia

Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc

Farm Biosecurity

Fertilizer Australia

Flower Export Council of Australia

Grain and Feed Trade Association

Grain Growers

Grain Producers Australia

Grain Trade Australia

Grains Research and Development Corporation

Green Roofs Australasia

Hazelnut Growers of Australia

Horticulture Innovation Australia

Hydroponic Farmers Federation

Irrigation Australia

Maize Association of Australia

National Farmers' Federation

National Irrigators’ Council

Onions Australia

Orana Foundation

Organic Federation of Australia

Passionfruit Australia Inc

Persimmons Australia Inc

Pistachio Growers' Association Inc

Plant Health Australia

Potato Processing Association of Australia

Protected Cropping Australia

Pulse Australia

Raspberries and Blackberries Australia

Regional Australia Institute

Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (AgriFutures)

Rural Skills Australia

South Australian Wine Industry Association

Soy Australia

Strawberries Australia Inc

Summerfruit Australia Limited

Sustainable Gardening Australia

The Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand

The Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network 

The Wine Grape Council of SA (WGCSA)

Utility Arborist Association of Australia

Wheat Quality Australia

Wine Australia

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2021, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, employment projections to May 2025
    • 010 Agriculture nfd
    • 012 Mushroom and Vegetable Growing
    • 013 Fruit and Tree Nut Growing
    • 014 Sheep, Beef Cattle and Grain Farming
    • 015 Other Crop Growing
    • 052 Agriculture and Fishing Support Services
    • 011 Nursery and Floriculture Production.
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 1210 Farmers and Farm Managers nfd
    • 1212 Crop Farmers
    • 1214 Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmers
    • 8412 Crop Farm Workers
    • 8416 Mixed Crop and Livestock Farm Workers
    • 8414 Garden and Nursery Labourers
    • 3622 Gardeners
    • 3624 Nurserypersons.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ06 - Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, viewed 1 August 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit Industry, 2001 to 2021, May Quarter

  • 010 Agriculture nfd
  • 012 Mushroom and Vegetable Growing
  • 013 Fruit and Tree Nut Growing
  • 014 Sheep, Beef Cattle and Grain Farming
  • 015 Other Crop Growing
  • 052 Agriculture and Fishing Support Services
  • 011 Nursery and Floriculture Production.

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ08 - Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, viewed 1 August 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit occupation, 2001 to 2021, May Quarter
    • 1210 Farmers and Farm Managers nfd
    • 1212 Crop Farmers
    • 1214 Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmers
    • 8412 Crop Farm Workers
    • 8416 Mixed Crop and Livestock Farm Workers
    • 8414 Garden and Nursery Labourers
    • 3622 Gardeners
    • 3624 Nurserypersons.

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

  • Employment level by 2 digit Agriculture Industry, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

                                                                                                                                               

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
  • Horticulture
    • AHC10316 - Certificate I in Horticulture
    • AHC20410 - Certificate II in Horticulture
    • AHC20416 - Certificate II in Horticulture
    • AHC21819 - Certificate II in Protected Horticulture
    • AHC30710 - Certificate III in Horticulture
    • AHC30716 - Certificate III in Horticulture
    • AHC40410 - Certificate IV in Horticulture
    • AHC40416 - Certificate IV in Horticulture
    • AHC50410 - Diploma of Horticulture
    • AHC50416 - Diploma of Horticulture
    • AHC60210 - Advanced Diploma of Horticulture
    • AHC60216 - Advanced Diploma of Horticulture
    • RTF10103 - Certificate I in Horticulture
    • RTF20103 - Certificate II in Horticulture
    • RTF30103 - Certificate III in Horticulture
    • RTF40103 - Certificate IV in Horticulture
    • RTF50103 - Diploma of Horticulture
    • RTF60103 - Advanced Diploma of Horticulture
    • RUH10198 - Certificate I in Horticulture
    • RUH20198 - Certificate II in Horticulture
    • RUH30198 - Certificate III in Horticulture
    • RUH40198 - Certificate IV in Horticulture
    • RUH50198 - Diploma of Horticulture
    • RUH60198 - Advanced Diploma of Horticulture.
  • Floriculture
    • AHC21510 - Certificate II in Floriculture
    • AHC21516 - Certificate II in Floriculture
    • AHC33210 - Certificate III in Floriculture
    • AHC33216 - Certificate III in Floriculture
    • RTF20303 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Floriculture)
    • RTF30303 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Floriculture)
    • RTF40303 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Floriculture)
    • RTF50303 - Diploma of Horticulture (Floriculture)
    • RUH10398 - Certificate I in Horticulture (Floriculture)
    • RUH20398 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Floriculture)
    • RUH30398 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Floriculture)
    • RUH40398 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Floriculture)
    • RUH50398 - Diploma of Horticulture (Floriculture)
    • RUH60398 - Advanced Diploma of Horticulture (Floriculture).
  • Production Horticulture
    • AHC20310 - Certificate II in Production Horticulture
    • AHC20316 - Certificate II in Production Horticulture
    • AHC20320 - Certificate II in Production Horticulture
    • AHC30610 - Certificate III in Production Horticulture
    • AHC30616 - Certificate III in Production Horticulture
    • AHC30620 - Certificate III in Production Horticulture
    • AHC32110 - Certificate III in Commercial Seed Processing
    • AHC32111 - Certificate III in Commercial Seed Processing
    • AHC32113 - Certificate III in Commercial Seed Processing
    • AHC32116 - Certificate III in Commercial Seed Processing
    • AHC32210 - Certificate III in Commercial Composting
    • AHC32216 - Certificate III in Commercial Composting
    • AHC33412 - Certificate III in Seed Production
    • AHC33416 - Certificate III in Seed Production
    • AHC33512 - Certificate III in Seed Testing
    • AHC33516 - Certificate III in Seed Testing
    • AHC40310 - Certificate IV in Production Horticulture
    • AHC40316 - Certificate IV in Production Horticulture
    • AHC40320 - Certificate IV in Production Horticulture
    • AHC41412 - Certificate IV in Seed Production
    • AHC41416 - Certificate IV in Seed Production
    • AHC41512 - Certificate IV in Seed Testing
    • AHC41516 - Certificate IV in Seed Testing
    • AHC50310 - Diploma of Production Horticulture
    • AHC50316 - Diploma of Production Horticulture
    • AHC50320 - Diploma of Production Horticulture
    • RTE20603 - Certificate II in Production Horticulture
    • RTE31603 - Certificate III in Production Horticulture
    • RTE40503 - Certificate IV in Production Horticulture
    • RTE50303 - Diploma of Production Horticulture
    • RTE60307 - Advanced Diploma of Production Horticulture
    • RUA21698 - Certificate II in Agriculture (Production Horticulture)
    • RUA31698 - Certificate III in Agriculture (Production Horticulture)
    • RUA41698 - Certificate IV in Agriculture (Production Horticulture)
    • RUA61698 - Advanced Diploma of Agriculture (Production Horticulture)
    • RUH10898 - Certificate I in Horticulture (Production)
    • RUH20898 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Production)
    • RUH30898 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Production)
    • RUH40898 - Certificate IV in Horticulture (Production)
    • RUH50898 - Diploma of Horticulture (Production)
    • RUH60898 - Advanced Diploma of Horticulture (Production).
  • Viticulture
    • AHC51513 - Diploma of Viticulture
    • AHC51516 - Diploma of Viticulture
    • AHC51519 - Diploma of Viticulture.

 

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

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

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 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 course: 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%.

AHC – Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2011 to 2020 commencements
  • 2011 to 2020 completions
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2020 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 14 Dec 2021
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