About this course

Get paid while you get trained. Tocal’s rural traineeships gain you a nationally-recognised qualification to push your career in agriculture to new heights.

Fee free traineeships from 1 January 2020: The NSW Government has expanded its support for trainees and apprentices by waiving the $1000 Smart and Skilled co-contribution fee for traineeships (more info here).

Wage subsidy: Any businesses or Group Training Organisation that engages an Australian Apprentice on or after 5 October 2020 may be eligible for a subsidy of 50 per cent of wages paid to an apprentice between 5 October 2020 and 30 September 2021, to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter (more info here). NSW Government rebates for accommodation and travel are also available.

Traineeships enable students to gain nationally accredited training and qualifications while being paid to work in the agriculture industry. They are open to paid farm employees, and lead to a nationally accredited Certificate II, III or IV in Agriculture.

Rural trainees may work in a variety of enterprises, accumulating many valuable farm skills.

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. Training includes use of the College farms, visits to commercial farms in NSW and uses the experience of industry professionals and mentors whenever possible.

You may be involved in the following subject areas, depending upon your desired qualification and level of training, as well as the units selected:

Apiary OperationsBiosecurity
Breeding & SelectionChainsaw Maintenance and Handling
Chemical ApplicationCropping
Dairy OperationsFencing
First AidForklift Licence
IrrigationLivestock Handling & Husbandry
Motorbike/Quad OperationNatural Resource Management
Nutrition & FeedingPasture Establishment and Management
Pest & Disease ManagementQuality Assurance
Queen Bee BreedingSafe Tractor Operation and Maintenance
Team Work & Communication SkillsVertebrate Pest Control
WeldingWool Handling
Work Health & Safety 

Each subject area is related to a specific unit of competency. These will be more clearly described when your Tocal Traineeship Coordinator develops a Training Plan with you.

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
  • Farm or station hand
  • Farm or station worker
  • Livestock transport driver
  • Farm team leader
  • Farm 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 your experience and skills, you may be able to complete it in a shorter timeframe. This would need to be discussed with your Traineeship Coordinator.

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).

From 1 January 2020 the NSW Government will be waiving the $1000 Smart and Skilled co-contribution fee for traineeships. https://www.nsw.gov.au/news-and-events/news/fee-free-traineeships-from-2020/

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). Scholarships are also available.

More information is available in the Traineeship Guidebooks for Employer (PDF, 8355.81 KB) and Trainee (PDF, 8424.99 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. The AHC50116 Diploma of Agriculture follows on from the Certificate IV in Agriculture and covers farm management, farm planning, marketing, cattle breeding and other units. This qualification is delivered online.

Tocal also has articulation (credit for study at Tocal) arrangements in place with a number of Australian universities.

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