Brock University is launching Ontario’s first winemaking and cider production micro-credentials.
Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) has received approval from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities for two continuing education offerings, Foundations in Winemaking and Cider and Perry Production: A Foundation, that will be eligible for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) funding beginning this fall. These represent the first OSAP-eligible micro-credentials at Brock.
CCOVI’s industry partners from the Ontario Craft Wineries (OCW) and the Ontario Craft Cider Association (OCCA) have indicated the micro-credential programs will fill important workforce development needs, ensuring that employees throughout both the grape and wine and craft cider industries have the latest and most relevant skills to be effective in their fields.
“Knowledge transfer through newly established micro-credential courses will help advance the cider industry’s stability, development and growth,” said OCCA Executive Director Janice Ruddock. “Upon completion, learners will have built the foundation for next-generation hires, as well as the cornerstone for advancement of dedicated staff being promoted to higher positions within or around the industry.”
OCW President Richard Linley said labour market analysis has shown that wine industry staff, from front-line sales to entry-level production, will benefit from the practical knowledge of the winemaking process.
“In addition to other educational work, it is here that CCOVI is able to illustrate some of its greatest value to the local, national and international industry audiences through both online and in-person stackable micro-credential courses,” he said.
CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis said the courses are another shining example of the institute’s commitment to the advancement of the Canadian grape and wine industry.
“CCOVI’s continuing education course development is guided by the pillar of innovation, which, in turn, helps the team to provide a diverse range of offerings, including Ontario’s first-ever micro-credential courses in winemaking and cider production,” she said. “We are proud to continue to support our industry stakeholders and the Canadian grape and wine community at large with unique courses that provide relevant skills and knowledge for industry.”
With more and more people looking to upskill and reskill through micro-credentials, CCOVI’s courses contain targeted skills and knowledge needed for entry and advancement in careers related to wine and cider production. These courses also meet the learning goals of those in the wine or cider industries in non-production roles needing to know more about the production process to advance their careers, as well as home producers and those with a general interest.
The Foundations in Winemaking micro-credential provides an in-depth introduction to wine production, in which participants gain an understanding of the key skills and knowledge necessary to craft wine, from grape to glass.
The Cider and Perry Production: A Foundation micro-credential encompasses a comprehensive overview of cider and perry production, including the history and traditions behind the modern cider and perry industry, and provides key skills and knowledge necessary to craft quality products. The micro-credential was developed by Peter Mitchell, one of the world’s leading authorities in cider production and founder of the highly regarded Cider and Perry Academy.
Both micro-credentials include hands on elements such as product development, lab skills, sensory evaluation, and wine or cider making production techniques.
For more information on the micro-credentials, visit the CCOVI continuing education web page.