The Andrews Labor Government is supporting the next generation of Victorian sheep shearers, with another investment to train workers in the state’s vital shearing industry.
Visiting the Hamilton Showgrounds as part of Sheepvention, Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney announced a $175,000 investment to deliver specialist training and grow the pool of workers in south-west Victoria, and across the state.
The funding includes $119,000 to deliver five-day introductory shearing courses for 100 new workers, run by the Shearing Contractors Association of Australia Shearer Woolhandler Training.
The courses are held on location in shearing sheds across Victoria and provide participants with the entry-level training required to begin immediate job placements on working farms.
Delivery of this training is currently underway, with properties at Balmoral, Dookie, Hamilton, Wedderburn and Nathalia among the locations.
Another $56,000 will support delivery of the Certificate II in Shearing courses for another 15 students through the Rural Industries Skill Training Centre in Hamilton, with the course delivered in operational shearing facilities in the south west of Victoria and is another entry-level pathway for students wanting to enter the shearing industry.
The funding builds on recent Labor Government training investment in the industry, including $1.2 million to grow the number of qualified shearing trainers under the Shearer Trainer Scholarship Program at South West TAFE, and the development of a Shearing Training App.
The latest courses are funded through a Regional and Specialist Training Fund grant which supports providers to address training gaps in regional areas by providing financial support to deliver skill-specific courses which would otherwise not be available at regional TAFEs and other registered training organisations.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“This training is giving new shearers the quality training that they need to confidently begin their work journeys in shearing sheds across the state.”
“Our government recognises the vital role our agriculture industry plays in Victoria – and we’re investing in projects to support its future and provide the training needed to support its workforce.”
Quote attributable to Rural Industries Skill Training Centre chief executive Bill Hamill
“The RSTF funding initiative has allowed RIST to deliver much needed entry level shearer training in the south west of Victoria to assist in addressing the critical shearer shortage in Victoria.”
Attributable to Shearing Contractors Association of Australia Shearer Woolhandler Training executive officer Glenn Haynes
“The RSTF funding is a fantastic initiative enabling us to deliver more courses in the regions of Victoria, servicing communities in rural areas where the shearers are needed the most.”