Connecting classrooms to careers in wine

Image courtesy Wine Australia

Wine Australia has launched a website for students, teachers, and primary and secondary schools to provide a real-world connection from the vineyard and winery to Australia’s education curriculum.

Careers in viticulture and wine is a purpose-built site that provides age-appropriate information and supports the exploration of the diverse range of careers available and the pathways to them. It also supplies national school curriculum aligned teaching resources and various activities that connect key school subjects with areas of the sector’s production and operations.

For the grape and wine sector, the resource offers an opportunity to connect with local and regional schools. The aim is to provide budding viticulturists, winemakers, innovators, agtech specialists, marketers, cellar door managers and more with a hands-on opportunity to hear directly from those with grape and wine sector expertise, nurturing their career interests.

Wine Australia chief executive officer Dr Martin Cole said the resource was developed as a direct response to feedback from the grape and wine sector.

“From sustainability to creativity, investigation to innovation – there are careers across the length and breadth of the sector that supports the interests, values and aspirations of our youth,” Dr Cole said.

“We are aiming to inspire the next generation by demonstrating the breadth of – and the pathways to – careers across the wine sector value chain. We sought to develop a solution alongside education experts that would bridge the gap between awareness, curriculum aligned education and exploration of careers.”

A central component to the site is a virtual tour, providing an opportunity to explore careers in-situ and for students to choose their own adventure by matching values and aspirations, strengths and subjects to a career in the sector.

Road-tested with school students, the tour is designed to complement classroom activities that explore appropriate topics for students from foundation through to year 12.

“Teachers expressed a need for activities connecting lessons to real-world scenarios and it has been rewarding to work with education experts to develop the extensive range of resources for teachers and schools, which are now hosted in the one site for easy access,” Dr Cole said.

Nuriootpa High School in the Barossa is featured on website, showcasing the school’s hands-on wine program and its connection to practical skills and experience for students.

Nuriootpa High School Agriculture coordinator for the Wine Education manager Milly Hoffmann said it was an exciting opportunity to showcase the school’s innovative ‘Vine and Wines Program’ and its connection to careers in the sector.

“We couldn’t provide our wine program without the support of the industry – from the donation of fruit, donation of yeast, dry ice, and testing. It can be challenging, but it is a rewarding program to run and I strongly believe it is the future of the wine industry in our area.

“Our ‘Vines and Wines Program’ at Nuriootpa High School offers invaluable hands-on experience in viticulture and winemaking. It serves as a vital stepping stone for students, opening doors to apprenticeships and careers in the wine industry. This program is essential for all students, especially those new to the field, providing an enriching educational opportunity.”

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