Wine industry skills: New Zealand Certificates in Cellar Operations available soon

July 2015

Wineries across New Zealand are playing a leading role in helping manufacturing industry training organisation Competenz develop New Zealand’s first nationally recognised qualifications for cellar operators in the wine sector. The qualifications will help the industry maintain New Zealand’s reputation as one of the world’s top winemaking countries. 

“The New Zealand Certificates in Cellar Operations are a first for New Zealand, and it’s exciting to be part of this work,” says Nick Best, Acting Production Manager at Marlborough’s Isabel Estate.  (pictured)
 
“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.” 

Employers and employees benefit too.

“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 cellar operation and hold a qualification, you can show employers you’ve reached a standard that’s recognised across the country.”

Nick joined technical and training experts from eight other wineries, including Matua Valley Wines, Indevin and Sacred Hill, on a technical advisory group which has helped Competenz establish the content and structure of the new qualifications. 

Competenz Industry Manager Mathew Vandy says strong industry representation has played an important part in helping the Competenz team understand the technical and commercial skills cellar hands and managers need to gain to keep New Zealand “up there on the international wine map.” 

“We’re really pleased to be working with the industry to formally recognise the skills and knowledge your teams are gaining on-the-job. The New Zealand Certificates will support and formalise the high level of skills I’ve seen in cellar operators across New Zealand.”

About the new national qualifications
Competenz will launch three New Zealand Certificates in Cellar Operations next year. Together these certificates form a pathway of learning over several years. 

The entry-level qualification, aimed at cellar hands, has a strong focus on food safety and quality processing. The intermediate qualification equips graduates with a good understanding of the technical processes and equipment involved in producing wine. The top qualification builds the specialised technical skills needed to manage employees and production.  

With the qualifications approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (the government agency that manages New Zealand’s national qualifications), the Competenz team is now working with industry to prepare to enrol learners. This includes agreeing how to support learners and businesses through their training, and the formal review process that will confirm learners have gained the skills they need. 

Members of the technical advisory group
Nick Best (Acting Production Manager, Isabel Estate; chair); Paul Hewett (Winemaker, Bishops Head Wines); Steve Simpson (Production Winemaker, Foley Family Wines); Mike Jones (Assistant Cellar Manager, GisVin); James Hillard (Client Winemaker, Indevin); James Pritchard (Cellar Team Leader, Matua Valley Wines Ltd); Joe Bosnich (National Training Advisor, Pernod Ricard); Rick Alderlieste (Winery Training Manager, Pernod Ricard); Nick Verry (Cellar Manager, Sacred Hill); Heather Battersby (Owner, winejobsonline); Annabelle Latz (Cellar Hand, NZ Wineries); David Williams (Production Manager, Matua Valley Wines Ltd)


More information about the new qualifications
Mathew Vandy (Competenz Industry Manager) 
m.vandy@competenz.org.nz | 021 815 044 | 07 349 5606

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