01 July 2016
New Zealand wineries have played a key role leading up to this month’s launch of New Zealand’s first nationally recognised qualifications for cellar operators in the wine industry.
The qualifications, developed by New Zealand wineries in tandem with industry training organisation Competenz, will help the wine industry maintain New Zealand’s reputation as one of the world’s top winemaking countries. Wine is one of this country’s fastest growing exports with a value of $1.5billion (2015) and is the largest horticultural export product by value. Domestically, it is estimated that the wine industry will export $2 billion by 2020.
“The New Zealand Certificates in Cellar Operations are a first for New Zealand, and it’s been exciting to be part of their development,” says Nick Best, Production Manager at Marlborough’s Isabel Estate.
“Nationally recognised qualifications benefit the industry and everyone in it. New Zealand wine is well regarded round the world. These qualifications will help us invest in, lift and standardise the skills of the people in our industry. And that will help us maintain the quality and consistency that’s won New Zealand our good reputation.”
Both employers and employees will benefit from the new qualifications.
“If you’re an employer who takes on someone with a qualification, you’ll know you’re employing someone who can do what they say they can do,” says Nick. “They’ll have the skills they need to be productive and work safely. Investing in training is a great way to promote our industry across New Zealand too.
“If you’re employed in a winery and hold a qualification, you can show employers you’ve reached a standard that’s recognised across the country.”
Competenz Industry Manager Mathew Vandy says strong industry representation played an important part in helping the Competenz team understand the technical and commercial skills cellarhands and managers need to gain to keep New Zealand “up there on the international wine map. The New Zealand Certificates will support and formalise the high level of skills I’ve seen in cellar operators across New Zealand.”
“And now that the qualifications are available, we’re really excited to be able to support the industry to formally recognise the skills and knowledge their teams are gaining on-the-job. Employers and those interested in finding out more about the qualifications and how to start training towards them, can contact the industry training organisation, Competenz on 0800 526 1800.”
About the new national qualifications
Three New Zealand Certificates in Cellar Operations have been developed:
The first is an entry-level qualification aimed at cellarhands carrying out routine tasks in the winery, and has a strong focus on understanding New Zealand wine and winemaking processes, and operating within food, health and safety, and quality processes.
The intermediate qualification equips graduates with both the technical knowledge and practical skills needed to process grapes, manage vintage operations, and carry out wine production processes.
The high level qualification builds the specialised technical skills needed to manage employees, vintage workers, production and quality.
Competenz launched the first two qualifications this week, with the third high level qualification on track for launch at the Romeo Bragato Wine Conference in August 2016. Together, these three certificates form a pathway of learning over several years.