More Victorians will have access to training to become highly-skilled sheep shearers thanks to a funding boost from the Victorian Government.
Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today visited a shearing facility at Barunah Plains, outside Geelong, one of eight locations across Victoria where training is being delivered to address the skill shortage in the state’s growing wool sector.
The Government’s $1.2 million investment is supporting the shearing industry, South West TAFE and two niche providers of shearing training in Victoria to increase the number of teachers to deliver shearing training at more locations across Victoria.
It is also creating an entry level qualification to help retention rates at the Certificate II and Certificate III levels of Sheep Shearing and upgrade and improve existing learning resources.
This funding boost will help more people complete the formal training pathway through to the Certificate III in Shearing, a professional level qualification.
Training has been funded for 125 enrolments for three accredited shearing qualifications across eight regional locations. The qualifications are Introductory Shearing, Certificate II in Shearing and Certificate III in Shearing.
Some training was put on hold due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, however it is now fully under way using social distancing for the busy June to November period, when the peak of shearing activity occurs.
South West TAFE is also working with industry to provide resources and training for additional shearing teachers.
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, such as 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 stated by Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“We’re working to ensure our pool of highly-skilled shearers is keeping up with the growth of Victoria’s wool industry and upholding our reputation for quality produce.”
“Students shouldn’t have to move far away from home to get a great education – and we’re proud to be supporting more shearing training to be spread over more locations across Victoria.”
As noted by Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes
“Shearing has been at the heart of countless country towns in Victoria for many years. This investment strengthens those skills that’ve been passed down through the generations and invests in a new generation of shearers.”