Melbourne Market Authority (MMA) has partnered with Melbourne Polytechnic to grant scholarships to Australian greengrocers whose profession has been overlooked.
MMA and Melbourne Polytechnic have committed $15,000 to launch the new course, which will give retail grocery workers formal qualifications. The MMA Greengrocery Scholarship will help support the first group of students who train in the course with full ($1,450) or part ($725) tuition.
Chadstone local Anthony Natoli is one of the recipients to receive the scholarship which allows him to complete Certificate III in Greengrocery at Melbourne Polytechnic after more than 30 years in the industry.
“Despite over 34 years of experience working with fresh produce, I realised I had nothing to show for my wealth of industry knowledge,” said Natoli.
“Enrolling in the course at Melbourne Polytechnic was an opportunity to finally have something on paper to back up my hands-on experience.
“Having this industry-recognised qualification is important to bring new talent into the industry and help our trade to be taken seriously.”
Commencing the course last January, Natoli is set to complete his qualification this September.
A Certificate III in Greengrocery is expected to ensure retail grocery workers can continue to service SME businesses across Victoria, assisting in the employability of those already working in the greengrocery sector and supporting them to further excel at their trade.
“As well as providing a recognised qualification for those already in the industry, the course is an ideal start for those wanting to begin a career in fresh produce,” said Mark Maskiell, CEO of MMA.
“This course is going to give the next generation a guide as to what to expect in the greengrocery industry and insight into what a career in fresh produce really looks like.”