Milkwood Permaculture Internships: Jan-April 2012

Discussion in 'Jobs, projects, courses, training, WWOOFing, volun' started by [email protected], Oct 18, 2011.

  1. kirsten@milkwood

    [email protected] Junior Member

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    Want to come and get your hands dirty while skilling-up for a future in permaculture and regenerative agriculture? Our next intern program might be just the ticket!

    >> Summer/Autumn internships: 25 Jan – 18 Apr 2012 at Milkwood Farm

    Big fat plug? Yes. But applications close on November 7th! And we think these internships are a downright awesome opportunity.

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    Our Milkwood Permaculture Farm internship program is an opportunity to accelerate your skills in permaculture design, process and implementation.

    Our interns leave our farm confident and ready to tackle a future as competent permaculture designers with loads of hands-on skills and good knowledge of how to make a range of livelihoods out of permaculture education, design and doing.

    Our internship program has been developed to ensure that your 12 weeks at Milkwood Farm are a truly valuable learning experience.

    During your time at our farm you will take a range of specialist on-farm courses in addition to our tailored intern program of private lessons and design projects, as well as other seasonal projects that integrate into the farm’s seasonal rhythms.

    Our aim at Milkwood Farm is to have our interns leave as accomplished designers, full of useful skills, and motivated to pursue careers in permaculture and/or regenerative agriculture.

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    Essential Requirements:


    • Permaculture Design Certificate (or equivalent knowledge).
    • Superb work ethic.
    • Excellent communication skills.
    • Ability to work within a task-based system (as opposed to a time based system) of time management.
    Dates: 25 Jan – 18 Apr 2012 (12 weeks total)

    Internship includes:

    Attendance of specialized on-farm courses, extensive private sessions with course trainers and Milkwood Permaculture teachers, tailored design and land-based learning programs, full catering with organic on-farm produce and use of all our Milkwood Farm intern facilities.

    Deadline for applications: 7th November 2011

    >> Summer/Autumn internships: 25 Jan – 18 Apr 2012 at Milkwood Farm

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    Interested to see what our past and current interns have got up to?

     
  2. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    Let me make sure I understand this, you have to have successfully completed a Permie Design Coourse before you can even sign up? "Essential Requirements:

    Permaculture Design Certificate (or equivalent knowledge"
     
  3. Nick Ritar

    Nick Ritar Junior Member

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    pre requirements for internship

    Thats right purecajn... the internship is for people who are committed to making permaculture a keystone in their lives, a lot of people apply and only six are accepted (last season we had over 20 applicants).

    The PDC is the closest thing to a standard we have in the permaculture world and we think that anyone who is as committed as we want our interns to be will probably have done a PDC... We don't care which teacher they did it with or where in the world or when.

    We also accept equivalent experience or education. So if for example you have spent years working in an organic market garden... or managing the family farm using a holistic management grazing plan, or you helped start a community garden, or you studied ecology at uni, etc etc we would accept this as equivalent.

    All we really want to see in the application is a commitment to Permaculture ethics and principles.

    I hope that helps explain our position :)

    Cheers
    Nick
     
  4. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    Thank you for elaborating.
     
  5. Earthchild

    Earthchild New Member

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  6. Nick Ritar

    Nick Ritar Junior Member

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    Hi Earthchild,


    From the above mentioned website my response in blue


    Work experience & internships

    Unpaid work experience placements and internships that don’t meet the definition of a vocational placement can be lawful in some instances. To be lawful, businesses need to ensure that the intern or work experience participant is not an employee.
    One key issue in determining whether an employment contract has been formed is whether the parties intended to create a legally binding employment relationship.
    When assessing whether the parties intended to form a legally binding employment relationship some key indicators would be:

    • Purpose of the arrangement. Was it to provide work experience to the person or was it to get the person to do work to assist with the business outputs and productivity?
    The internship at Milkwood is a learning experience not work experience. Every day of the 12 week program is scheduled with either direct educational sub-programs or design projects which are then implemented by the interns.

    These design projects are typically not income generating or even directly related to our income generating activities.

    Example from the current internship include erosion control and repair, designing a bee forgae plantings, designing an apiary, designing a system to utilise overflow water from a rainwater tank, designing and implementing a forest garden etc etc


    The interns do some manual labour, including things like making compost, making sign-age, cleaning up etc but most of it is related to making our community function, not income generating activities.

    • Length of time. Generally, the longer the period of placement, the more likely the person is an employee
    Our internships last 12 weeks.

    • The person’s obligations in the workplace. Although the person may do some productive activities during a placement, they are less likely to be considered an employee if there is no expectation or requirement of productivity in the workplace
    Apart from chores and occaisionally cleaning up, there is no expectation or requirement of productivity in the workplace.

    • Who benefits from the arrangement? The main benefit of a genuine work placement or internship should flow to the person doing the placement. If a business is gaining a significant benefit as a result of engaging the person, this may indicate an employment relationship has been formed. Unpaid work experience programs are less likely to involve employment if they are primarily observational
    We are not engaging the interns, they are paying to come to Milkwood for an educational experience. The significant benefit that Milkwood receives from the interns consists of the fee they pay us, the projects which enrich Milkwood Farm & the peer network that develops from the time they spend with us.

    The significant benefit the interns receive from the program include:

    • an overload of amazing permaculture learning opportunities,
    • the chance to work & live along side some of the finest regenerative agriculture and permaculture practitioners from across the globe
    • multiple opportunities to design and implement permaculture projects
    • the opportunity to build a strong and lasting network of peers
    This is not an unpaid work experience program.

    The feedback we receive indicates that the interns feel they benefit massively from the program this is also indicated by the fact that we receive many more applications to attend our program than we can take.
    It's a very competitive process to get in & we are very sorry we do not have the resources to meet the needs of all the people who apply. If we were trying to make a profit out of the program we would accept many more people into it, rather than limit it like we do.

    • Was the placement entered into through a university or vocational training organisation program? If so, then it is unlikely that an employment relationship exists.
    We are an education institute.

    We do not make a profit from the internship. We employ a full time market gardener, a full time cook & a full time intern supervisor (either myself, Trev or Harris) to provide for the needs of the interns.

    The current internship was limited to 6 interns. They paid us $3000 each for 12 week, that's $1500 per week to cover 3 full time wages, gourmet food, bills, infrastructure, insurance, admin, etc etc. We only started charging to allow us to continue the program, the first three internships were free.

    In our next internship we will be increasing the price, because we cannot afford to put such a huge effort into a program such as this and not at least cover our costs.

    I hope this help you understand what our internship is all about. If you have any constructive feedback on how we can improve our program please let me know.

    If you believe that you can provide a better set of outcomes for interns through a free program I encourage you to set one up as soon as you can. The planet needs us to spread this sort of knowledge as quickly and as thouroughly as possible.

    This is our way of doing it, I urge you to find yours.

    Cheers
    Nick


     
  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    I am not sure why. profiting (AKA "making a living") by teaching people, is seen as somehow evil.
     
  8. barefootrim

    barefootrim Junior Member

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    I reckon internships are a very good way to go to learn some finer details. As the PDC is a quick whizbang whirlwind, and an internship allows you time to soak in a learning experience.

    Personally I would not do one, only because I have had extensive farm experience before and I'm not an ex-computer worker from the city learning the front end of a cow from the back ,,, I already know. I can also drive a tractor, turn on a pump, check the oil, and shoe a horse for that matter. I'm not being silly or mean here,,,as when I travelled through the world It surprised me to see how "useless" ( for want of a better term) some folk where in practical , basic tasks , due to their urban upbringing.

    My good mate took over from me on a farm I was gardener on,,,,100 acres,,,, the first thing he did was build a herb spiral,, there was on-going maintenance required on the other 99.9999995 acres first,,,,,,the boss was not happy,,and this guy needed an internship to get him in tune with farm priorities. He learnt the harder way.

    So I see both sides of this story (eg earthchilds case and Nick's case) ,,,Milkwood internship or the Mulloon internships look to be the best ones going from what I can tell,,

    ,earthchilds case is seen very much in the wwoofer circles where wwooffers are abused for the most part and not many farms are in the true spirit of the wwoof thing,,,, (eg sitting on a production line bottling plant as a wwoofer for 9 hours---- isn't that a paid job ??? as I experienced on a southern england winery offering wwoofer spots ??? I moved on after a few hours. )

    Additionally there is an established permaculture farm in northern nsw that charges volunteers to work there,,,, !!!! ummmm whatever they want really but sort of abusive and very stingey and suffering from deep instrinsic permaculture specialness dont you reckon ?? "volunteers wanted-pay to be here" aren't they already doing you a favour?

    some folk say the idea is to teach enthusiasm in a pdc,,,but as an internee,,, you have demonstrated the willingness going past the enthusiasm ideal and an internship is suppossed to be skills based learning.

    I give the best of luck to those offering and completing well rounded internships that teach a neutral permaculture / farming experience that gives skills as oppossed to ideals and an enthusiasm inspired teaching experience.

    Its a fine line between abusive host farms,,, and well rounded internships with integrity,,, both are available.
     
  9. barefootrim

    barefootrim Junior Member

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  10. floot

    floot Junior Member

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    Hi all,

    Wow, 12 weeks 'practising' on someone else's place for $250 a week... SOUNDS CHEAP TO ME and that is not including the knowledge shared or the tucker or the accommodation or the fellowship. I know nothing of Milkwood but I personally have spent many tens of thousands getting to where I am now in terms of knowledge, land and permaculture. Pity that such internships were not available when I had both time and money to do it. Now, fortunately there are a few [not many] groups who offer this sort of experience.

    I am with barefoot. I wouldnt do an internship because of my years of experience but I have 3 kids and if any of them showed any desire to join us on the 'farm' I would consider it a good investment for them to do something like this. Sadly, they are at the age of girlfriends, cars and anything electronic.

    Cheers,
     
  11. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    Hey Nick, what exactly is "equivalent experience?" I have 3-4 yrs as a farm hand; raising plants, stacking hay, hours of goose picking. As it is all documented (time wise) would that time frame be enough? or do you need more?
     

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