The McGowan Government will hold two shearing training camps over the next two months to help fill labour shortages in the shearing industry and support Aboriginal employment.
The camps follow two successful pilots held earlier this year, which produced 20 graduates – half of whom have already found casual, part-time or full-time jobs in the industry.
The State will contribute up to $130,000, alongside funding from Australian Wool Innovation, to run the two-week camps, with the first programs to be held at Northampton and Wellstead in the next two months for a total of 20 participants.
The practical shearing and wool handling program will cover skills and topics including crutching and shearing, wool clip preparation and pressing.
For more information about the Regional Shearing Hub Camps, visit https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/aboriginal-business-development-0
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“This is a tremendous program that delivers relevant, practical training and support to young Aboriginal people in the regions – providing a sound foundation for them to build a career in this important industry.
“We’ve had great feedback about the pilot program from both the participants and employers, who have welcomed this investment in ensuring future labour availability.
“The pilot worked closely with the Geraldton-based Mhunga Whalla group and the WA Shearing Industry Association to develop the program, which has been a great State, industry and community collaborative effort.
“This investment in the next generation of shearers and wool handlers is critical to provide a skilled workforce, reducing the reliance on imported labour currently highlighted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Regional Shearing Hub Camps are just one example of how our Government is supporting regional and Aboriginal economic development, which will generate jobs and significant flow-on benefits throughout Western Australia.”