Mounting interest for training in shearing and woolhandling

The Australian wool industry has reported seeing an increasing number of local people looking to participate in shearing and woolhandling courses as they consider new employment opportunities, a trend which has emerged as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

As Australia prepares for a substantial workforce shortage due to border closures and travel restrictions for both overseas and interstate travellers, the new interest of a career shearing and woolhandling is a positive light for the industry in the short term during this difficult time.

SCAA Shearer Woolhandler Training Inc’s Executive Officer, Glenn Haynes says their organisation has received at least double the amount of registrations for their shearing and woolhandling courses than the previous year, and more interest from regional cities than ever before.

To accommodate these additional numbers, SCAA Shearer Woolhandler Training Inc is looking to run more courses towards the end of the year.

Fox & Lillie Rural has been working with SCAA Shearer Woolhandler Training Inc over the last few years, committing $3,000 per year to various areas within the organisation’s scope of work as part of our ongoing commitment to help combat the shortage of skilled labour in the industry and improve the situation.

Fox & Lillie Rural’s Managing Director Jonathan Lillie said “the wool industry is very multi-faceted with various opportunities. Shearing and woolhandling is a traded and valuable skill and it’s encouraging to see a rise in numbers of people considering a career in this field.”

This year as part of Fox & Lillie Rural’s sponsorship commitment, $1,500 will be directed into The Wedderburn Community House who hold an annual shearing school with the support of SCAA Woolhandler Training Inc and Victorian Farmers Federation.

Trudy Nelson, Wedderburn Community House’s Education Officer said the sponsorship money “is very important to the school and helps offset the costs of running these programmes.”

This will be the second consecutive year that Fox & Lillie Rural has sponsored the Wedderburn Community House Shearing School with the school introducing a new five-day Introductory Shearing course this year which features some of the top trainers in the industry teaching students highly sought-after practical skills for the shearing environment.

Due to the increase in interest from people wishing to participate the course, Wedderburn has had to hold a second Introductory Shearing course to try accommodate the numbers, and even still, there is a waitlist of people who are unable to be included this time around.

For Fox & Lillie Rural and organisations such as SCAA Shearer Woolhandler Training Inc and Wedderburn Community House, it’s encouraging to see such an increasing interest in a career in shearing and woolhandling. Not only is shearing and woolhandling a very valuable skill but there is a real sense of camaraderie in the sheds and working as part of a team.

Contribution featured in the Stock & Land ‘Training to get Fibre Fit‘.

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