Ten Alloway Mac/ MacQ employees have recently finalised a custom-designed Certificate III in Rural Operations course. The course was organised and designed by Alloway Mac using a registered training organisation and funding from the Queensland Government.
Catherine Grace of Alloway Macadamia and MacQ Nursery explains, “It took time to find and get what we wanted for our businesses in relation to training content, price and delivery that suited management and employees. We also spent time finding the right registered training organisation, but once we got started, the course only took a year to complete in monthly training sessions. A few students were a little apprehensive at the beginning, having not done any study for a while, but it all came together well.
“We chose SDS Training because they could offer on-site training delivery, a suitable combination of units and at the standard Certificate 3 fee (approx. $5,000 per person). SDS Training tutors also catered for individual student needs and styles of learning.
Four of the graduating students work in the Alloway Mac orchard and six graduating students work in the tree nursery for MacQ Nursery.
The training was almost all paid for by Queensland Government funding including some ‘Back to Work Boost Funding’. There was investment in paid training time by the employers also.
Alloway Mac designed the course based on the Production Horticulture course but with some variation in units so that the employee-students could also secure qualifications in Forklift Operation and Chemical Handling.
The course was 16 units in total and covered areas including OHS, chemical handling and weed control, machinery operation, irrigation, fertigation, biosecurity, forklift operation, polesaw and pruning.
“In hindsight, we possibly could have tried to also fit in Working at Heights/Elevated Platform type training unit for some employees,” says Catherine.
“We held a small certificate presentation last year and everyone is really pleased with the outcomes and benefits this course is providing for the company as well as the employees who undertook the training.”