SHEARER education is set to go virtual with a new training app enabling student shearers to get the help they need at the tap of a screen.
Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today visited the working shearing shed at the Young family’s Eulong Farm near Cavendish to launch the Shearing Training app – funded as part of a $1.2 million Victorian Government package to address the skill shortage in the state’s growing wool sector.
The app is a collaboration between South West TAFE, the Shearing Contractors Association Australia, Rural Industry Skills Training and Start Beyond which brings traditional paper learning practices into the 21st century and provides a one-stop digital resource for student shearers.
Ms Tierney said the new training app will deliver the latest in training and techniques to students and builds on the investments we have put into the industry.
“Shearing has been at the heart of so many regional Victorian towns for generations – and this investment will usher in a new generation of shearers and give them the skills they need as the sector continues to boom.”
The app includes instructional videos on shearing and grinding techniques, shot in VR and compatible with popular Oculus Quest and Go Headsets, along with a key knowledge review feature and Q and A.
The upgrade of the learning resources also includes e-learning resources, along with health and safety advice on topics such as how to shear a sheep safely and correctly, how to look after your health as a shearer and understanding best-practice gear maintenance.
The app is designed to be used alongside face-to-face training and is available to all shearing students enrolled in formal training from a registered training provider.
The app is just one of the ways in which the Government is supporting the industry to boost the number of highly skilled sheep shearers.
The $1.2 million investment has been used to support the development of new VET qualified teachers to deliver shearing training, to create an entry level qualification to attract more and to support the delivery of training at more locations across Victoria.
Accredited training is being delivered across fourteen regional locations in Victoria in 2020, a significant increase from 2019. Victoria exported $2.1 billion worth of wool in 2017/18, and this training program will help the industry by creating new jobs and attracting more qualified shearers.