About this course

Get qualified at a nationally-recognised level while being paid to work in the dairy industry. That’s the reality for you with a Dairy Traineeship through Tocal. Study a AHC30216 - Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production). Training is held in short blocks at Tocal College's Paterson campus and includes use of the College farms, visits to commercial farms in NSW and uses the experience of industry professionals and mentors whenever possible. Set yourself up right at the start of your career.

Fee free traineeships: Traineeships provided through the NSW Smart and Skilled vocational education and training (VET) system, will be fee-free from 1 January 2020 (more info here).

At a glance:

Location: Paterson campus
Course duration: Maximum of two (2) years
Start date: Enrol anytime
Number of units: Dependent on entry level
Indicative fees: The NSW Government has expanded its support for trainees and apprentices by waiving the $1000 Smart and Skilled co-contribution fee for traineeships.


Training is delivered via several study blocks where attendance is required for up to 6 weeks per traineeship.

It includes a blend of face-to-face, online courses and workplace assessment with practical components and hands-on exercises.

Students who complete the traineeship at Certificate III level will achieve the AHC30216 - Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production). See more information on this qualification at https://training.gov.au/Training/Details/AHC30216.

Depending on training level, students may study the following:

  • Calf Rearing
  • Cattle Health
  • Cattle Breeding
  • Feeding the Herd
  • Manage Pastures
  • WHS
  • Quality Assurance
  • General Communications and Supervision

The NSW Dairy Farm Training Program was developed in close consultation with industry, and Tocal graduates are well regarded for their skills and knowledge. Many of our graduates become valued workers and effective managers.

Possible job roles (depending on qualification level) include:

  • Assistant animal attendant/stockperson
  • Assistant Farm or Station hand
  • Assistant Farm or Station worker
  • Assistant Farm or Station labourer
  • Dairy farmhand
  • Farm team leader
  • Farm supervisor
  • Shed supervisor.

Entry requirements are determined by the level of qualification you wish to gain. Trainees with some previous industry experience or a farming background, or completion of the HSC Primary Industries/Agriculture course, may be eligible to commence the Certificate III program. Trainees with considerable industry experience and preferably HSC Primary Industries/Agriculture or equivalent may be eligible for direct entry into the Certificate IV program. If you would like more specific information, contact Tocal College or the Australian Apprenticeship Centre.

This traineeship will take up to 24 months to complete. Depending on experience and skills it is possible to complete in a shorter time frame. This would need to be discussed with your Traineeship Coordinator. Enrolments are accepted throughout the year.

Assessment methods may include:

  • written reports
  • case studies and scenarios
  • oral presentations
  • quizzes
  • observations
  • interviews.

The principles of assessment will be followed and all assessments will be valid, reliable, flexible and fair and carried out by qualified assessors. Students will be advised of the assessment requirements prior to the assessment taking place.

Support is available via email, phone, face to face on-campus, and through Canvas (the online learner management system).

New dairy trainees no longer pay tuition or training fees

Fee free traineeships: Traineeships provided through the NSW Smart and Skilled vocational education and training (VET) system, will be fee-free from 1 January 2020. (more info here).

Existing worker course fee (those ineligible for Government funding) is $2950.

Accommodation, including meals and linen, is available at a weekly rate.

Traineeships attract substantial subsidies for employers and allowances for employees (including for accommodation and travel). Eligible Trainees will now attract a 50% wage subsidy for Employers if signed up before the 30th June 2022. Eligibility criteria does apply. Click here for more information or call Jill Clayton to discuss the details ​PHONE: (02) 4939 8878 or MOBILE: 0448 354 911​.

More information is available in the Traineeship Guidebooks for Employer (PDF, 8182.68 KB) and Trainee (PDF, 8245.55 KB), from the Australian Apprenticeship Centre, or by contacting the Traineeship Coordinator. You can also visit the Smart & Skilled website .

Additional Information

For information on students rights and responsibilities, and the Tocal College Code of Practice see Student policy information.

Student may decide to progress to further study within the College. Tocal also has articulation (credit for study at Tocal) arrangements in place with a number of Australian universities.