Learning Pathways (Alternative Information)

Employment and training options in today’s world are changing rapidly. Whether you’ve just left school, your personal circumstances or priorities have changed or you need to re-enter the workforce after a period of time away, it’s hard to know what direction to take. Our learning pathways support can help you decide what might be a good fit for you and how to plot a path to your employment or personal development goal.

Learners that struggle in a formal TAFE or University environment and need the extra step to pathway them into study or employment may be eligible for our subsidised ACFE courses for Victorian adult learners.

Employment and training options and opportunities

At CERES we can help you explore the employment and training options and opportunities in the areas of Sustainability, Horticulture, Permaculture and Environmental Education through:

  • Full Fee and Subsidised Pre-Accredited industry taster courses (Check your eligibility here)
  • Learning Pathways support exploring and identifying your goals and the stepping stones to achieve these
  • Links to and placement in our Accredited Industry taster course
  • Opportunities to gain work experience through our volunteer programs
  • Workshop and Courses in Sustainability, Horticulture, Permaculture and Environmental Education

Please fill in the enquiry form below and we will contact you about our learning and careers pathways.

The subsidised cost is listed for eligible courses as the first cost in the boxes below. See below for stories and feedback from our participants


Complete Urban Farmer

An introduction to the world of urban farming – a perfect portal to your own patch | Coming in 2024 | $1150* | 14 weeks | *ACFE subsidised places available.


Environmental Education – Inspire Change

Designed for anyone interested in creating change for sustainability through education and communication using hope, not fear. | Jul | $840* | 8 weeks | *ACFE subsidised places available.


Intro to Social Enterprise – Working for a Purpose

Understand business models and skills that aim to tackle social problems, improve communities, benefit the environment and provide people with access to employment and training. | Mar | $895* | 8 weeks | *ACFE subsidised places available.


Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture

Learn to design garden-based activities that support the physical, mental and social health of individuals. | Mar, May, Jul, Oct | $900* | 8 weeks | *ACFE subsidised places available.


Landscape Restoration and Indigenous Ecology

Develop an understanding of ecology and conservation in urban environments and benefit from a real connection to place | Mar, Oct | $975* | 8 weeks | *ACFE subsidised places available.


Sustainable Gardening

Improve your skills and get your hands dirty with our practical sustainable gardening course | Apr, Oct | $650* | 8 weeks | *ACFE subsidised places available.

Pre-accredited Training – CERES Pathways Courses

CERES is an approved Learn Local Organisation (LLO) registered with the Adult Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board. ACFE funds places on approved pre-accredited courses for those who meet eligibility criteria in Victoria. You can check eligibility for ACFE subsidy..

These short courses run over 8 to 14 sessions and are designed to provide industry tasters and stepping stones into further training and/or employment.

Courses available to eligible students in 2023 through this program are:

Accredited Training

Introduction to Horticulture and Permaculture

CERES offers 3 units selected from Certificate II Horticulture and Permaculture as a Taster program for individual adults who are not sure as to whether accredited training is for them, or whether Horticulture is the right pathway or who are simply not able to commit to a full course at this stage. Further information for this program including dates and fees can be downloaded here: Intro to Horticulture and Permaculture Course Information 2023

Next course starting Feb 2023 – For further information, call 9389 0127 or email karen.mengell@ceres.org.au

CERES Permaculture Demonstrator Skill Set (AHCSS000048)

This 4 unit Permaculture Demonstrator Skill Set equips learners with the basic knowledge and practice of permaculture principles, how to select and maintain permaculture plant and animal systems, and ultimately how to research, communicate and demonstrate permaculture practices to learners. This skill set was designed to teach you how to understand and teach about permaculture. It is perfect for teachers in schools, community educators, people with passion for permaculture or who want to build their confidence and practice in sharing knowledge with others.

The course gives you a 4 unit credit in Cert III in Permaculture and qualifies you to teach Cert I and II Permaculture levels in combination with a Cert IV Training and Assessment. The course runs over 14 sessions, online and face to face at CERES.

For further information, call 9389 0127 or email karen.mengell@ceres.org.au


“This course has opened up a whole future for me and the course of my life. J has pointed me in the right direction. I’m very grateful”.

– ZR, enrolled in Diploma of Horticulture

I gained “confidence to further my career path and skill development”.

– BC, enrolled in Cert III Horticulture

I gained “new ways of thinking … and I have already gained employment in the field … as a direct results of this course and the contacts I’ve made”.

– RH, gained work in a Nursery and Community Garden

I “loved every second” and “gained direction in career, further studies, what I want to do, peace of mind”.

– AC, Enrolled in Cert III Horticulture

“Being welcomed into CERES through these programs has felt like a new beginning: not only has it introduced me to a range of career pathways, new friendships and connections, but it most importantly has given me a renewed sense of hope and a sense of belonging, which I’m forever grateful for”.

– RC, Enrolled in Cert IV Horticulture

The course “exceeded my expectations” and I gained “knowledge and so many new skills”. “I am thoroughly enjoying my Cert IV Horticulture. The short course at CERES was so helpful in crystallising my interest in horticulture and re-introducing me to study after a break of three years”.

– MK

I gained “Confidence, life skills, community, inspiration, and networking. It was even better than expected. It was encouraging and gave me confidence after not studying for a while. I learnt skills that I can use in everyday life as well as in my career. I’m excited that through the class I now have a network. Thank you for this opportunity to grow and become more confident”.

– AR, enrolled in Cert III Horticulture

“I learnt so much and I also found out I knew a lot too!”, I liked “the possibilities presented” “so many options!” “A very positive and affirming course which reiterated and solidified my knowledge and provided so many networking opportunities and new connections”. “Great for the soul and spirit”.

– SB, gained employment in a school garden and is developing their own gardening services business

Individual impacts

Shane’s story

Shane* joined us at the start of 2017. 20 years old, unemployed, no qualifications, he had struggled to finish school, drifted since. Mum contacted us in desperation. He commenced a Sustainable Gardening course February 2017, followed by an Intro to Landscaping course in May 2017 which he dropped out of but then returned commenced and completed a Complete Urban Farmer course July, 2017. In his words he gained “a fresh perspective on gardening and the natural world”. In late 2017 he enrolled in the Diploma of Conservation & Land Management at Melbourne Polytechnic and commenced early 2018. Aside from his written evaluation “MAGIC!” We know he’s still smitten with us because clearly he tells his mates about us, some of whom have also since engaged in the program.

*Names were changed in the stories above

Nathan’s story

20 year old Nathan* was referred to our Horticulture Pathways Support Program from his northern suburbs Community School. Nathan’s engagement with the school and learning activities had been sporadic, he suffered from depression and would rarely leave the house. Nathan and his mother came in for a chat with our Pathways Officer, Karen Mengell, about training and employment possibilities in horticulture and/or permaculture and was provided with subsidised places on the Sustainable Gardening and Complete Urban Farmer courses under Trainer, Justin Calverley.

When Nathan commenced the course he was very quiet. As the courses went on he gradually participated more. As Justin would say “he blossomed”. As Nathan said in his written feedback he gained “a new perspective”.

When the courses finished in May Nathan went on to voluntary horticulture/permaculture work at Marist 180 as well as applying for Horticulture Apprenticeships. At the beginning of September Nathan came in to share the fabulous news that he had been offered and accepted a 4 year Apprenticeship in Certificate III Parks and Gardens working at an Italian Retirement Village 4 days per week whilst attending TAFE 1 day per week. As several of the residents are interested in getting a veggie patch going and keeping a few chooks we can be sure that a little bit of CERES inspired learning will be applied to his new position. A fantastic outcome for Nathan and CERES.

Learning Pathways Enquiry - Submit here

Enquiry into CERES Learning Pathways.

  • For our pathways advisors to understand what you are interested in and the pathways that you would like to engage in please choose 1 or more option below*. ACFE Courses have Full fee places and subisidised places for eligible participants in Victoria. Answer the next question to help us determine your eligibility for subsidy. *Courses and experiences will be subject to availability
  • The priority cohort for ACFE subsidised pre-accredited training in 2021 are people who have experienced educational disadvantage. To apply you must be:

    • An Australian citizen, or
    • A holder of an Australian permanent visa, or
    • A New Zealand citizen, or
    • An Asylum seeker in specified visa categories referred by Jobs Victoria Employment Network providers

    You must also:

    • Be over compulsory school-leaving age and no longer enrolled at school
    • Reside in Victoria

    To enquire about subsidised places contact Karen Mengell via karen.mengell@ceres.org.au

diagram of learning pathways