A $175,000 State Government grant to boost specialist shearing industry training and grow the worker pool was announced at Hamilton Sheepvention Rural Expo.
Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney announced a $175,000 investment that includes $119,000 for the delivery of five-day introductory shearing courses for 100 new workers.
The courses are being run by Shearing Contractors Association of Australia Shearer Woolhandler Training on location in shearing sheds across Victoria to provide entry-level training required for participants to gain immediate job placements on working farms.
Delivery of the training is underway at properties near Balmoral, Dookie, Hamilton, Wedderburn, Nathalia and other 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.
Ms Tierney said the training is giving new shearers the quality training that they need to confidently begin their work journeys in shearing sheds across the state.
Rural Industries Skill Training Centre chief executive Bill Hamill said 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.
Shearing Contractors Association of Australia Shearer Woolhandler Training executive officer Glenn Haynes said the RSTF funding is a fantastic initiative enabling delivery of more courses in the regions of Victoria, servicing communities in rural areas where the shearers are needed the most.
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.