Victoria’s iconic sheep and wool industry is set to grow even further, thanks to support from the Andrews Labor Government into the state’s highly-skilled shearers.
Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today visited the Brown family farm in Hamilton to announce the Labor Government will deliver on its commitment to invest in shearing training and education, addressing the skill shortage in Victoria and growing the state’s wool sector.
The Government’s $1.2 million investment will support Victorian TAFE and shearing training providers to:
- increase the number of teachers to deliver shearing training at more locations across Victoria
- create an entry level qualification to help retention rates at the Certificate II and Certificate III levels
- upgrade and improve existing learning resources
- help more people complete the formal training pathway through to the Certificate III in Shearing, a professional level qualification.
Training is recognised as a valuable way to enter the industry, rather than an informal approach. It also builds the capacity of existing staff through improved work practices, like shearing speed and quality and reduced injury levels, and promotes shearing as an attractive and viable career.
Shearing has been at the heart of so many regional Victorian towns for generations – and this investment will usher in a new generation of shearers and give them the skills they need to secure lifelong careers.
Victoria exported $2.1 billion worth of wool in 2017/18, and this training program will grow the industry further by creating new jobs and attracting more qualified shearers.
As noted by Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes
“We’re working to ensure our pool of highly-skilled shearers is keeping up with the growth of Victoria’s wool industry in Victoria and upholding our reputation for quality produce.”
“With more qualified shearers, we will see the quality of wool sheared in Victoria improve and cement our reputation for providing world-class wool products.”
As stated by Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“Students shouldn’t have to move far away from home to get a great education – and we’re proud to be supporting more shearing trainers to be spread over more locations across Victoria.”