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The Controlled Environment Horticulture (CEH) Unit at Chisholm Cranbourne is one of the only facilities of its kind in Australia and is designed to facilitate training for the CEH industry on a Local, Regional, National and International level.
“This is a very exciting time for both the horticulture industry and Chisholm,” said Chisholm Director of Sustainable Technologies, Malcolm Macpherson.
“The facility contains the latest features in glasshouse technology, and allows us to facilitate training to all levels of this dynamic industry.” With specialised computer-based and practical training resources and a variety of accredited training courses, the facility has set Chisholm up as the leading provider of training services and facilities for the controlled environment horticulture industry in Victoria. It's designed to deliver industry training locally, nationally and globally.
“By using the latest equipment from the world’s leading suppliers of horticulture technology, we’ve created a facility that will give students the opportunity to develop cutting edge skills and will also act as a flagship for the CEH industry in Australia,” said Chisholm Horticulture and Land Conservation teacher Tony Bundock.
The Glasshouse is operating both as an educational platform and production facility. Courses offered include Certificate III and IV in Production Horticulture, Glasshouse Technician, Food Handling and HACCP training. “We also want the Glasshouse to act as a showcase for new CEH techniques and technology,” says Bundock. “We encourage student groups from other training institutions, plus visits from grower and community groups to visit us". “Our reasoning is: the more young people see that there are a whole range of careers they can pursue in the field, the better it will be for the industry as a whole.”
The crops will be put to use in the Chisholm Hospitality department’s training kitchens, giving CEH students the opportunity to track produce from point of growing to final consumption.
Diploma of Production Horticulture Student Karan Pradhan says the learning curve has been steep but thrilling. “The first crop was a challenge, because we were learning how to use all the systems for the first time, but with this new crop it’ll be a bit easier,” says Karan. “Very few people get the opportunity to train in facilities like this in Australia, so the benefit it will have my for my career I think will be great.”