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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.

Visit the following pages for more information on Amenity Horticulture and Landscaping; Conservation and Land Management; and Production Horticulture please visit the respective pages.

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

Industry cluster snapshot

Employment and training snapshot

Overall, the total employment level across Amenity Horticulture and Conservation related industries increased between 2002 and 2022, however employment levels varied across occupations. Employments levels grew in Gardeners (from 48,600 to 83,100 in 2022) and Environmental Scientists (13,500 to 28,200 in 2022), whereas employment levels declined in Nurserypersons, Greenkeepers, and Garden Nursery Labourers. Employment levels are projected to increase to 2026 in Greenkeepers, Gardeners, Agricultural, Forestry and Horticultural Plant Operators, and Garden and Nursery Labourers. 

The VET-related occupation group Environmental Scientists made up the highest proportion (approximately 13%) of the total Amenity Horticulture and Conservation industry workforce, however employment is projected to decrease approximately 2% to 2026. Gardeners, which make up about 10% of the total industry workforce, is projected to grow approximately 14% to 2026.

Between 2017 and 2021, program enrolments in Amenity Horticulture and Conservation-related qualifications declined slightly, from approximately 24,050 to 23,250. The number of program completions fluctuated between 2017 and 2021 with the overall trend downward. In 2021, there were approximately 5,540 program completions.

Industry insights

 

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management IRC’s Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2019-2022, the top generic skills for Agriculture were:

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

The Amenity Horticulture and Conservation industry experienced significant disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, climatic events such as drought and bushfires, and trade issues on workforce development, according to the Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2021 Skills Forecast (Annual Update).

As such, the 2021 Skills Forecast outlined additional and emerging trends to those identified in the 2020 Skills Forecast including: the impacts of COVID-19; attracting new industry workers; increased demand for nursery and landscaping; and initiatives to create jobs and environmental benefits.

Impacts of COVID-19

COVID-19 disrupted every sector of the Australian agriculture, horticulture, conservation and land management industries, according to the IRC’s 2021 Skills Forecast. Within the Amenity Horticulture and Conservation industries, COVID-19 lockdowns impacted Landscaping and Arboriculture for example, with activities suspended in commercial environments and in municipalities. The closure of international borders also affected labour supply, particularly in Arboriculture.

Attracting new industry workers

Among employers with job opportunities in the Amenity Horticulture, Arboriculture and related industries there were perceptions they did not receive support to attract new workers. This was despite long-term labour shortages exacerbated by COVID-19 and the availability of people who were displaced from their usual work and were seeking new opportunities.

Increased demand for nursery and landscaping products and services

COVID-19 also changed peoples’ use of domestic space, notably gardens as many people spent a greater proportion of time at home. This had a significant impact on nurseries and gardening and the surge in popularity was predicted to continue due to associated economic, recreational, health and environmental benefits.

Initiatives to create jobs and environmental benefits

Conservation and land management were and continue to be important parts of governments climate policies, as well as supporting job creation. For example, projects focused on supporting growth, management and sustainability of national parks, as well increasing biodiversity and conservation through agriculture’s potential to sequester carbon in landscape.

For more information about these trends, please visit the Amenity Horticulture and Landscaping and Conservation and Land Management pages.

Links and resources

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

 

IRC and skills forecasts

Amenity Horticulture, Landscaping, Conservation and Land Management IRC

 

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 Institute of Horticulture Inc.

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

Australian National Botanic Gardens

Australian Native Plants Society (Australia)

Australian Society of Horticultural Science

Australian Sports Turf Managers Association

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

Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Greenlife Industry Australia

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

Landcare Victoria

Landscape Australia

Landscape Design Institute

Landscape Industries Association of Tasmania

Landscape Industries Association WA Inc.

Landscape Queensland Industries Assoc. Inc.

Landscaping Australia Incorporated

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

NSW Marine Estate

Parks and Leisure Australia

Parks Australia

Permaculture Australia

Queensland Arboricultural Association

Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA)

Soils for Life

Soil Science Australia

Sustainable Gardening Australia

The Tree Guild of Western Australia

Tree Contractors Association Australia

Turf Australia

Turf Grass Association of Australia

Victorian Tree Industry Organisation

Weeds Australia

The Wilderness Society

WildFlowers Australia

 

Employee associations

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)

Australian Workers' Union (AWU)

Data sources and notes

National Skills Commission 2022, Occupation Employment Projections viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nationalskillscommission.gov.au/topics/employment-projections

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2026
    • 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 2022, 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 2022, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2022

Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit occupation, 2002 to 2022, 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.

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
  • Arboriculture
    • AHC20510 - Certificate II in Arboriculture
    • AHC20513 - Certificate II in Arboriculture
    • AHC20516 - Certificate II in Arboriculture
    • AHC20520 - Certificate II in Arboriculture
    • AHC30810 - Certificate III in Arboriculture
    • AHC30816 - Certificate III in Arboriculture
    • AHC30820 - Certificate III in Arboriculture
    • AHC41916 - Certificate IV in Arboriculture
    • AHC50510 - Diploma of Arboriculture
    • AHC50516 - Diploma of Arboriculture
    • AHC50520 - Diploma of Arboriculture
    • AHC60516 - Advanced Diploma of Arboriculture
    • AHC60520 - Advanced Diploma of Arboriculture
    • AHC80116 - Graduate Diploma of Arboriculture
    • AHC80120 - 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)
  • Landscaping
    • AHC21610 - Certificate II in Landscaping
    • AHC21616 - Certificate II in Landscaping
    • AHC21621 - Certificate II in Landscaping
    • AHC30910 - Certificate III in Landscape Construction
    • AHC30916 - Certificate III in Landscape Construction
    • AHC230921 - Certificate III in Landscape Construction
    • AHC42016 - Certificate IV in Landscape
    • AHC42020 - Certificate IV in Landscape
    • AHC42021 - Certificate IV in Landscape Construction Management
    • AHC42421 - Certificate IV in Landscape Design
    • AHC50610 - Diploma of Landscape Design
    • AHC50616 - Diploma of Landscape Design
    • AHC50621 - Diploma of Landscape Design
    • AHC52016 - Diploma of Landscape Project Management
    • AHC52021 – Diploma of Landscape Construction 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)
  • Nursery
    • AHC20710 - Certificate II in Production Nursery
    • AHC20716 - Certificate II in Production Nursery
    • AHC20720 - Certificate II in Nursery Operations
    • AHC20810 - Certificate II in Retail Nursery
    • AHC20816 - Certificate II in Retail Nursery
    • AHC31110 - Certificate III in Production Nursery
    • AHC31116 - Certificate III in Production Nursery
    • AHC31120 - Certificate III in Nursery Operations
    • AHC31210 - Certificate III in Retail Nursery
    • AHC31216 - Certificate III in Retail Nursery
    • AHC40610 - Certificate IV in Production Nursery
    • AHC40616 - Certificate IV in Production Nursery
    • AHC40620 - Certificate IV in Production Nursery Operations
    • AHC40710 - Certificate IV in Retail Nursery
    • AHC40716 - Certificate IV in Retail Nursery
    • AHC50810 - Diploma of Production Nursery Management
    • AHC50816 - Diploma of Production Nursery Management
    • AHC50820 - Diploma of Nursery Management
    • AHC50910 - Diploma of Retail Nursery Management
    • AHC50916 - Diploma of Retail Nursery Management
    • RTF20503 - Certificate II Horticulture (Retail Nursery)
    • RTF20603 - Certificate II in Horticulture (Wholesale Nursery)
    • RTF30503 - Certificate III in Horticulture (Retail Nursery)
    • RTF30603 - Certificate III 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)
  • Parks and Gardens
    • AHC20610 - Certificate II in Parks and Gardens
    • AHC20616 - Certificate II in Parks and Gardens
    • AHC20621 - Certificate II in Parks and Gardens
    • AHC31010 - Certificate III in Parks and Gardens
    • AHC31016 - Certificate III in Parks and Gardens
    • AHC31021 - 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)
  • Sports Turf Management
    • AHC20910 - Certificate II in Sports Turf Management
    • AHC20916 - Certificate II in Sports Turf Management
    • AHC20919 - Certificate II in Sports Turf Management
    • AHC31310 - Certificate III in Sports Turf Management
    • AHC31316 - Certificate III in Sports Turf Management
    • AHC31319 - 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
    • AHC51019 - 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)101101
    • 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)
  • Conservation and Ecosystem Management
    • AHC10110 - Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC10116 - Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC10120 - Certificate I in Conservation and Ecosystem Management
    • AHC21010 - Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC21016 - Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC21020 - Certificate II in Conservation and Ecosystem Management
    • AHC31410 - Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC31416 - Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC31420 - Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management
    • AHC31421 - Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management
    • AHC40910 - Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC40916 - Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC40920 - Certificate IV in Conservation and Ecosystem Management
    • AHC51110 - Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC51116 - Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC51120 - Diploma of Conservation and Ecosystem Management
    • AHC60410 - Advanced Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
    • AHC60415 - Advanced Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
    • RTD10102 - Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management
    • RTD20102 - Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management
    • RTD30102 - Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management
    • RTD40102 - Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management
    • RTD50102 - Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
    • RTD60102 - Advanced Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
  • Other Conservation and Land Management Related Qualifications
    • AHC31510 - Certificate III in Indigenous Land Management
    • AHC31516 - Certificate III in Indigenous Land Management
    • AHC31610 - Certificate III in Lands, Parks and Wildlife
    • AHC31616 - Certificate III in Lands, Parks and Wildlife
    • AHC31710 - Certificate III in Natural Area Restoration
    • AHC31716 - Certificate III in Natural Area Restoration
    • AHC32310 - Certificate III in Conservation Earthworks
    • AHC32316 - Certificate III in Conservation Earthworks
    • AHC32513 - Certificate III in Aboriginal-sites Work
    • AHC32516 - Certificate III in Aboriginal Sites Work
    • AHC51210 - Diploma of Community Coordination and Facilitation
    • AHC51216 - Diploma of Community Coordination and Facilitation.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

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

  • 2017 to 2021 program enrolments
  • 2017 to 2021 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: 25 Nov 2022
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