This includes propagating, growing and marketing ofl cut flowers, flower seeds and seedlings, bulb growing, nursery operation, chemical protection of plants, post-harvest storage and handling and use of preservatives.
It's estimated that there are at least 1,000 flower growers in Victoria and 5,000 flower growers in Australia. The flower industry in Australia is worth about $1 billion annually. About 10% of production is exported, the rest being sold on the domestic market.
There are many flower associations representing the industry, including Flowers Victoria (established as a division of the Victorian Farmers Federation in 1975) located at the Institute for Horticultural Development in Knoxfield. The Wildflowers Australia Network (formerly The Australian Flora and Protea Growers Association formed in 1984) has a membership of about 400 growers in Victoria. The national peak body is the Flower Industry Association - Australia Inc, while the marketing arm is the Flower Export Council of Australia.
The work undertaken by those employed in the flower growing sector can comprise the following:
- growing and harvesting of commercial flower, flower seed, foliage and essential oil crops
- management and maintenance of field and controlled growing environments
- post harvest treatments and production of plant products
- wild harvesting and processing of commercial flower, flower seed, foliage and essential oil crops
Floriculture or flower growing can provide an interesting and exciting career for those seeking outdoor work involving growing, harvesting and preparing flowers and foliage for sale.
Floriculture businesses produce fresh and dried flowers and foliage for wholesale flower markets, florists and retail outlets, and increasingly for overseas exporting. The range of different flowers and foliage is immense and could include roses, carnations, orchids, native flowers, bulb and annual flowers, and tropical flowers. Some flower farms also grow flowers in open fields for their essential oils.
Work in the floriculture industry can be divided into levels which also relate to training and qualifications. The titles for those who work at these levels are:
|Level||Job Role||Recommended Qualification|
|Level 2||Floriculture Worker||Certificate II in Horticulture (Floriculture)|
|Level 3||Floriculture Tradesperson||Certificate III in Horticulture (Floriculture)|
|Level 4||Floriculture Supervisor||Certificate IV in Horticulture (Floriculture)|
|Level 5||Floriculture Manager||Diploma of Horticulture (Floriculture)|
Floricultural workers are likely to be involved in a wide range of tasks under limited supervision.
Their work could include:
- tractor driving
- caring for crops
- harvesting crops
- preparing crops for sale
- propagating plants
- maintaining irrigation systems
There are a number of ways to get work as a floricultural worker. You can progress from working as a floricultural assistant as you develop a wider range of skills and knowledge or you can undertake a Level 2 Floriculture Traineeship which involves formal learning while working on-the-job.
The national qualification for a floricultural worker is the Certificate II in Horticulture (Floriculture).
Priority skills areas for a job as a floricultural worker include operating tractors and equipment, undertaking irrigation activities, establishing and maintaining crops and treating weeds, pests and diseases.
Floricultural tradespersons are skilled workers who have responsibility for a number of work site and growing activities.
These could include:
- operating advanced and specialised machinery
- coordinating crop planting and maintenance
- harvesting crops
- processing produce
- installing irrigation and drainage
- controlling weeds and pests
- constructing glasshouses and shade houses
There are various ways to get work as a floricultural tradesperson. Most have either progressed from working as floricultural workers or have completed a Level 3 Traineeship in Floriculture which involves formal learning while working on-the-job.
The qualification for floricultural tradespersons who have either undertaken formal training or learnt their skills on-the-job is the Certificate III in Horticulture (Floriculture).
Priority skills areas for working as a floricultural tradesperson include preparing soils for planting, implementing crop planting and maintenance programs, coordinating harvesting and supervising work site activities.
Floricultural supervisors are likely to have significant responsibilities in managing flower growing and harvesting activities.
Their responsibilities include:
- developing plant nutrition programs
- managing irrigation
- developing canopy management and crop regulation programs
- supervising pest control
- supervising crop harvesting
- supervising machinery maintenance, supplies and services
- operating within a budget
- promoting plant health
There are a number of ways to get work as a floricultural supervisor. Most have worked as floricultural tradespersons and have been engaged as floricultural supervisors after demonstrating leadership and organisational skills. Others have completed a Level 4 Traineeship in Floriculture which involves formal learning while working on-the-job.
To obtain a Certificate IV in Horticulture (Floriculture) you will need to demonstrate that you possess the necessary knowledge and skills and that you can apply your knowledge to industry standards.
Priority skills areas for working as a floricultural supervisor include developing plant nutrition programs, supervising staff, machinery and supplies and operating within a budget.
The floricultural manager is likely to have significant responsibilities in managing growing and harvesting and related property activities.
The responsibilities of this position include:
- managing business operations
- developing planting programs and production plans
- managing weed, pest and disease infestations
- maintaining, monitoring and evaluating irrigation systems
- managing plant health
- managing controlled growing environments
To work at this level, you will need a high degree of business acumen, leadership skills and knowledge about flower growing.
To obtain a Diploma in Horticulture (Floriculture) you will need to demonstrate that you possess the necessary knowledge and skills and that you can apply your knowledge to industry standards.
Priority skills areas for working as a floricultural manager include developing planting programs and production plans, preparing and monitoring budgets and financial reports, and managing business operations.