Securing the next generation of sheep shearers

Students from a $1.2 million Victorian Government course for sheep shearing teachers have been presented with their graduation certificates.

Victorian Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney visited Injemira, a farm in Grassmere on the outskirts of Warrnambool, to celebrate the nine graduates’ achievements.

The expert sheep shearers received financial and learning assistance through the South West TAFE Shearer Trainer Scholarship Program to complete the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. They can now be booked as contractors to deliver accredited training to students in shearing sheds across the state.

The $1.2 million program was funded by the Victorian Government to help address a skills shortage in the state’s growing wool industry by fostering a local pool of highly skilled workers and by providing opportunities to upskill.

It was developed in partnership with SW TAFE, the Shearing Contractors Association Australia, Rural Industries Skills Training and the Victorian Farmers Federation.

The enrolment target for shearing courses was exceeded in 2020, with nearly 130 students signing-up to the new entry level qualification, Certificate II and Certificate III.

The funding also helped create and update learning resources, including the Shearing Training App which features VR instructional videos that support hands-on learning on the farm in conjunction with face-to-face training.

Toolkits with shearing equipment have been made available at Certificate III level to encourage students to pursue education and to remove the financial barriers of entering the workforce.

The number of locations where accredited training is offered has doubled since the program began, giving regional students access to high-quality education and a pathway to the workforce in their local communities.

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.

Source: Vic Government