At the end of november, 17 students from one of the vocational integration classes at the vocational school center (BSZ) in ochsenfurt took the train and bus to the LWG in veitshochheim to learn about the professions of gardener and winemaker. According to a press release, the trip was organized by the office for food, agriculture and forestry (AELF) kitzingen in cooperation with margit stuhler, the coordinator of the vocational integration classes at the BSZ ochsenfurt.
A look at the practical side is indispensable
"Many of those who are cursed don’t even know what vocational training opportunities exist here in horticulture," says mathilde batz, educational advisor for horticulture at AELF kitzingen. "In practice, everything is a little different than in theory. It is therefore important for the students to learn about materials, machines and work processes in horticulture through visits to companies and construction sites in addition to the vocational information they receive at the vocational school," says batz. The presentation of the gardening professions is intended to arouse young people’s interest in an apprenticeship in the green industry.
With great commitment, michael braun, educational advisor in viticulture, wolfgang graf, master in ornamental horticulture, and johannes ochsner, master in horticulture and landscaping, took the young cursed people on a tour of the "green professions" at the bavarian state institute for viticulture and horticulture in veitshochheim.
Taster round in the wine press hall
Michael braun began by presenting the profession of winemaker using a small "school vineyard" as an example: typical activities such as pruning grapevines, tying up shoots, applying manure and plant protection were explained; all this is also done with the aid of tractors and agricultural machinery, braun explained. "The work in the vineyard is often physically strenuous, so you should be in good shape," braun continued.
When asked about the participants’ countries of origin, one young woman said: "we also grow wine in syria" "and also in afghanistan, where I come from", a young man explained. Braun’s good advice to the cursed youngsters: "learn german as quickly as possible, because no matter what kind of education you end up choosing: a good knowledge of the language is an important basis for integration in germany".
In the wine press hall, one of the trainees explained the work involved in extracting and processing grape juice. Jaqueline from peru, who is training in wine analysis, presented typical activities such as measuring the sugar content and determining the degree of acidity. "I already started learning german back home in peru," jaqueline told us. She is very satisfied with her training and is always working on improving her german and settling in well in germany.
A visit to the landscape gardener
The next station on the program was the experimental farm for ornamental horticulture. "The horticultural companies need well-trained employees who can take on responsibility," said wolfgang graf during the tour of the three experimental wax houses. He explained the tasks and work of an ornamental horticulturist to the interested visitors and explained how the christmas star is made to produce its blood at exactly the time of advent.
"Without a sound knowledge of plants and the technology used, it is not possible to grow high-quality plants," says graf. He explained that horticultural training takes place on the farm on the one hand and in vocational schools on the other. "A sound education is important and the green industry offers a good start in working life, especially for asylum seekers with practical and technical skills.".
At the end of the tour, johannes ochsner introduced the profession of "landscaper. Together with his trainee from afghanistan, he explained typical landscaping work. "People in germany care about a nice garden and spend a lot of money on it; it’s a challenge to plan and build new situations all the time. That’s what makes the job of landscape gardener so interesting and varied, and a job with a future," said ochsner.
Green jobs" campaign
If you want to become a gardener, you first have to choose one of seven specialties. For example, the following areas are available for career entry: ornamental plant cultivation, horticulture, fruit cultivation, tree nursery, cemetery gardening, perennial gardening, and gardening and landscaping. The training lasts three years and takes place in the dual system (training company and vocational school).
The information campaign of the bavarian state ministry of food, agriculture and forestry is aimed at attracting young refugees with prospects of staying in the green professions, such as farming or gardening.