NSW Farmers group to seek shearing workforce solutions

Sheep Central, November 24, 2021

IMPROVED training courses for sheep shearers and wool classers will be sought by a New South Wales Wool Technical Advisory Group formed by the state’s peaking farming body.

NSW Farmers said the group will directly tackle the shearer shortage by providing a cross-industry forum to develop solutions to current workforce issues.

NSW Farmers wool committee chair Helen Carrigan said fewer shearers were making their way to Australian sheds, and the NSW WoolTAG would address the challenge.

“Over the past 10 years the number of shearers has dropped by about 30 per cent.

“Factors such as drought and border closures associated with COVID-19 have considerably heightened workforce challenges, and we will work on attracting, training, and retaining workers to ensure the wool industry’s ongoing success,” Ms Carrigan said.

“WoolTAG will provide the space for a cross-industry forum to discuss and develop solutions to current workforce issues by bringing together supply chain expertise.”

Ms Carrigan said the NSW WoolTAG will also advocate for improved training courses for shearers and classers, who have steadily declined in numbers over the last decade.

“The group will review training programs available and relevant to the shearing industry and engage with training institutions to forecast future workforce requirements.

“In the past, attempts to address this workforce issue have been siloed, but we need the NSW industry to work collaboratively,” she said.

“We hope this sets a new path for the NSW wool industry in tackling this growing issue.”

Ms Carrigan said other states had successfully established similar WoolTAG initiatives that delivered positive workforce outcomes.


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