NMIT’s new cellar operations programme a win-win for students and industry

NMIT’s new cellar operations programme a win-win for students and industry

NMIT’s new intensive cellar operations programme provides students with a fast-track to work in the industry while addressing a vital skills shortage — and it’s available for free.

The New Zealand Certificate in Cellar Operations, starting in August, is one of several exciting new initiatives in NMIT’s Viticulture and Winemaking programmes.

The 19-week Cellar Operations programme provides a clear pathway to employment in the wine industry while supporting local vineyards during the upcoming harvest season.

Students get an introduction to the wine industry and winemaking before applying what they learn on the job at local vineyards, says NMIT wine tutor Ngarita Warden.

“We teach the basics of how wine is made and all about the equipment that's used in the winery,” she says “The students get a lot of hands-on, practical work.” 

That includes practicing their skills during a “micro vintage” at the NMIT Marlborough campus winery before working in a commercial winery over the vintage season. 

NMIT is pleased to offer the Cellar Operations programme for free under the government’s new Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF). 

The programme, developed in partnership with Wine Marlborough and local wineries, is also open to secondary students who are interested in pursuing a career in the industry. 

“We are excited about this because it's giving a direct pathway for those students to our degree programme, which is now fully available online, or into work,” says NMIT Primary Industries curriculum manager, Pam Wood. 

The programme is a win for local wineries, too, as it will help to train skilled workers for the 2021 harvest. 

Typically, local wineries rely on hundreds of harvest workers from overseas, which may not be possible with border restrictions as a result of COVID-19. 

The Cellar Operations programmes will help local industry address this skills shortage. 

Wood says it’s also an “amazing opportunity” for local people, who may have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19, to retrain in a new industry and find employment quickly. 

The Certificate in Cellar Operations is available at both Level 3 and Level 4. The one-year Level 4 programme is designed to upskill current industry employees, preparing them for a supervisory role. 

The first intake for both programmes is August 17. You can apply now online or
call 0800 422 733 for more information.

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