Parks and Gardens
This industry includes the establishment, operation, maintenance and management of parks, gardens and streetscapes and other areas such as recreational and natural open spaces where plants are primarily involved. Environmental planning and management of significant natural eco-systems.
It's estimated there are between 2,500-3,000 horticultural workers in the 79 local government councils in Victoria, with well in excess of 5,000 people estimated to be working in the Parks and Gardens Industry Australia-wide.The Parks and Garden Industry has two industry bodies.
The first organisation is Parks and Leisure Australia, based in Bendigo, Victoria, formerly known as the both the Royal Australian Institute of Parks and Recreation and the Australian Leisure Institute, which was formed over 75 years ago. The second organisation is the Australian Institute of Horticulture, formed in 1953. The Australian Institute of Horticulture has about 90 members in Victoria as the Victorian Institute of Horticulture and about 1,200 members Australia-wide. Parks and Leisure also have about 1,200 members in Australia.
The work undertaken by those employed in the parks and gardens sector can comprise the following:
- management and maintenance of public and private parks, reserves and gardens
- management and maintenance of natural bushland and community recreation areas
- management and maintenance of historic, cultural and special use areas such as botanic gardens, cemeteries, recreation parks and institutional lands
- design and implementation of special plant displays
- provision of advice on plant selection and use in commercial and domestic situations
- contract administration and management
If you are seeking an interesting and challenging outdoor career working with plants and people, then maybe you should consider a career in the parks and gardens industry.
The parks and gardens industry covers the work of parks and gardens trades assistants, park supervisors and managers in local government, botanic gardens, and public and private parks and gardens.
In public parks and gardens, workers are usually covered by job classifications and award conditions. Increasingly the work of parks and gardens trades' assistants is being contracted out to private gardening contractors and business skills are highly sought in both private and public organisations. Work in the private sector is confined mainly to self-employed parks and garden trade assistants
Parks and gardens trades' assistants often require a broad range of skills in greenkeeping, landscape, nursery and tree work. Their work often centres on the development and maintenance of garden beds and plant displays and the maintenance-for public enjoyment-of open spaces (including bushland areas). They are also often responsible for the management of public assets in parks and gardens.
Work in the parks and gardens 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||Parks & Gardens Trades Assistant||Certificate II in Horticulture (Parks & Gardens)|
|Level 3||Parks & Gardens Tradesperson||Certificate III in Horticulture (Parks & Gardens)|
|Level 4||Parks & Gardens Supervisor||Certificate IV in Horticulture (Parks & Gardens)|
|Level 5||Parks & Gardens Business Leader||Diploma of Horticulture (Parks & Gardens)|
A parks and gardens trades assistant is likely to be involved in a wide range of gardening tasks under limited supervision.
Work undertaken as a parks and gardens trades assistant could include:
- planting, transplanting and pruning small trees and shrubs
- operating equipment and machinery
- maintaining properties and structures
- undertaking irrigation and drainage systems maintenance activities
- treating weeds, pests and disease
- establishing and renovating grassed areas
- supporting revegetation works
There are several ways to get work as a parks and gardens trades assistant. In a parks and gardens traineeship you will start training as a parks and gardens assistant before moving to work as a parks and gardens trades assistant. Individuals with general horticultural experience are often able to obtain work as parks and gardens trades assistants on a casual basis in domestic and large private gardens.
The qualification for parks and gardens trade's assistants who have either undertaken formal training or learnt their skills on-the-job is the Certificate II in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens).
Priority skills areas for working as a parks and gardens trades assistant include workplace health and safety, planting, transplanting and pruning, machinery operation, irrigation and drainage and weed, pest and disease control.
A parks and gardens tradesperson - also known as a horticulturist - is a multi-skilled worker in the parks and gardens industry
Work undertaken as a horticulturist could include:
- installing and maintaining plant displays
- cultivating turf
- installing irrigation and drainage
- controlling weeds, pests and diseases
- performing operational maintenance of machinery
- providing information on plants, products and treatments
- maintaining natural and revegetated areas
There is a number of ways to get work as a horticulturist. Most of them have either progressed from working as parks and gardens trades assistants or have completed a Level 3 Traineeship in Parks and Gardens which involves formal learning while working on-the-job.
The national qualification for a horticulturist is the Certificate III in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
Priority skills areas for working as a horticulturist include worksite supervision, installing plant displays, cultivating turf, irrigation and drainage installation, machinery maintenance and controlling pests and diseases
The parks and gardens supervisor has responsibility for a number of workers and parks and gardens activities.
Work undertaken by a parks and gardens supervisor could include:
- supervising and training staff
- developing tree planting and pruning programs
- managing irrigation, drainage and treatment systems
- coordinating machinery maintenance and supplies and services
- planning garden restoration and turf establishment recommending plants, products and treatments
- costing projects and operating within a budget
There are several ways to get work as a parks and gardens supervisor. Most have worked as horticulturists and have been engaged as parks and gardens supervisors after demonstrating leadership and organisational skills. Others have completed a Level 4 Traineeship in Parks and Gardens which involves formal learning while working on-the-job.
The qualification for parks and gardens supervisors who have either undertaken formal training or learnt their skills on-the-job is the Certificate IV in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
Priority skills areas for working as a parks and gardens supervisor include staff supervision and training, planning tree planting and pruning, irrigation and drainage, garden restoration, turf establishment, project costing and budgeting.
The parks and gardens business leader is likely to have significant responsibilities in managing business and maintenance activities. Often parks and gardens business leaders are employed by large organisations in this capacity.
Their responsibilities include:
- managing parks and reserves
- managing and administrating business operations
- preparing and monitoring budgets and financial reports
- preparing estimates, quotes and tenders
- conserving heritage and natural resource areas
- implementing sustainable horticultural practices
- providing specialist advice on plants, products and treatments
To work at this level, you will need a high degree of management acumen, leadership skills and knowledge about parks and gardens work.
To obtain a Diploma in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens) you will be required 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 parks and gardens manager include managing business operations, preparing estimates, quotes and tenders, conserving heritage and natural resource areas, and preparing budgets and financial reports.