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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.

Visit the following pages for information on Agricultural Operations and Services, Amenity Horticulture and Landscaping, Agribusiness, Animal Care and Management, and Food Production, Transport, Retail, and Hospitality industries.  

Information sourced from the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast and the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast.

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

IRC and skills forecasts

IRCs now submit comprehensive Skills Forecasts to the AISC every 3 years, with abridged annual updates submitted in the intervening 2 years.

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment in Production Horticulture industry sectors declined between 2000 and 2020, apart Agriculture (not further defined) which has increased overall but has fallen below its peaks in 2014. However, the employment level in the Nursery and Floriculture Production, Mushroom and Vegetable Growing, and Agriculture and Fishing Support Services sectors are projected to grow slightly by 2024.  

Similarly, there was an overall decline in numbers employed in occupations relevant to Production Horticulture industry sectors between 2000 and 2020. The exception is Gardeners, which has grown from an employment level of 39,400 in 2000 to 79,800 in 2020. The employment level for Gardeners is projected to decline slightly to 71,800 by 2024. The only occupation projected to increase by 2024 is Garden and Nursery Labourers. Employment projections for all the other VET-related occupations are expected to decrease to 2024.

Training trends

Training snapshot

In 2019 there were approximately 15,160 program enrolments in qualifications relating to Production Horticulture, Horticulture, Floriculture and Viticulture. There were also almost 3,550 completions. Enrolments have been steadily decreasing since 2015 whereas the number of completions has somewhat fluctuated.  

The majority of enrolments were either in certificate II or II level (92%) and were in horticulture qualifications (94%). The most likely intended occupations for these qualifications are Gardener (General) and Garden Labourer.

Over half of training is delivered by TAFE institutes (57%), followed by private providers (24%), and community education providers (10%) in 2019. The training was most likely to be government subsidised (86%). About 11% was funded through domestic fee for service arrangements.

About three-quarters students enrolled a production horticulture or related qualification were living in the eastern states. As such, the majority of training was delivered in New South Wales (31%), followed by Victoria (29%), Queensland (18%). About 9% of training was delivered in both Western Australia and South Australia.

Apprenticeship and traineeship commencements and completions have fluctuated from 2010. Since 2016 both commencements and completions have slightly increased. The main destination occupations for the apprenticeships and traineeships were Gardener (General) and Garden Labourer.

About 30% of apprenticeships and traineeships were reported in South Australia, followed by 22% in Victoria, 18% in New South Wales, and 13% in Queensland.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

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

Australia’s Horticulture sector is particularly reliant on low-skilled, seasonal (casual/contract) workers from overseas, according to the Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast. Reliance on overseas workers may present challenges in 2020-21 if travel restrictions brought in to restrict and contain the spread of COVID-19 remain in place.

Opportunities in the burgeoning Indigenous bush food industry continue, with demand for native foods increasing due to consumer desire for products with proven health benefits and uniquely marketable provenance. Bush foods have social, cultural and economic significance for Aboriginal and remote communities but only 1% of this industry’s produce and revenue is generated by Aboriginal people. Work is underway to address this deficit and to support meaningful inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with all aspects of the commercialization of their traditional plant foods. Opportunity exists to develop the range of native foods in commercial production and to expand its markets in response to growing international demand.

Analysis of priority skills identified in the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast and the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast is available on the Agriculture Cluster page.

Links and resources

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

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Agribusiness Australia

Almond Board of Australia

Apple and Pear Australia Limited

Arboriculture Australia

Australian Asparagus Council

Australian Banana Growers' Council

Australian Blueberry Growers' Association

Australian Cane Farmers Association

Australian Cotton Ginners 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 Pineapple Association

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

Cane Harvesters

Canegrowers

Canola Association of Australia

Cherry Growers Australia Inc.

Chestnuts Australia Inc.

Citrus Australia

Corporate Agriculture Australia

Cotton Australia

Cotton Research and Development Corporation

Crop Consultants Australia

Crop Pollination Association

Custard Apples Australia

Dried Fruits Australia

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 Inc

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

Rice Growers’ 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)

Tropical Exotic Fruit Australia

Voice of Horticulture

Wheat Quality Australia

Wine Australia

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2020, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC  3 digit industry, employment projections to May 2024
    • 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 2024
    • 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 2020, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 August 2020 https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202020?OpenDocument

Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit Industry, 2000 to 2020, 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 2019, Employed persons by occupation group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 16 December 2019 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202019?OpenDocument

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit occupation, 2000 to 2019, 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
    • 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
    • AHC30610 - Certificate III in Production Horticulture
    • AHC30616 - 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
    • 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
    • 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.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

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

  • 2015 to 2019 program enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 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%.

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:

  • 2010 to 2019 commencements
  • 2010 to 2019 completions 
  • 2019 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2019 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 28 Sep 2020
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