State Government funding to help train more sheep shearers

Sheep Central August 7, 2023

Rural Industries Skill Training Centre chief executive Bill Hamill: funding will help train new industry entrants.

GREATER access to affordable sheep shearer training and technology-based learning will be possible with a $93,000 grant announced by Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney at Hamilton’s Sheepvention Rural Expo today.

Ms Tierney met with shearers at the Hamilton Showgrounds as part of Sheepvention to officially announce the $93,000 investment to grow the shearing workforce in south-west Victoria.

More students will be able to take part in the Certificate II in Shearing course through Rural Industries Skill Training (RIST) in Hamilton, with the investment supporting more Virtual Reality learning content and upgrading shearing handpieces and VR headsets.

The course combines virtual reality, augmented reality, simulation and in-person workshops to offer students practical and future-focused learning opportunities.

Rural Industries Skill Training Centre chief executive Bill Hamill said the Victorian Government’s support through the Regional and Specialist Training Fund has been invaluable in enabling RIST to provide training to increase the number of new entrants into the shearing industry to assist in addressing the severe shortage of shearers.

Ms Tierney said by investing in our training and skills sector, and giving support and funding to training providers, the Andrews Labor Government is helping to meet a crucial need for skilled workers and give more young Victorians real job opportunities.

“We’re supporting high-quality training that gives aspiring students the best start to a rewarding career in modern agriculture.”

Victoria is Australia’s largest wool exporter – exporting 51 percent of the nation’s wool with more than 3000 sheep specialist farm businesses across the state.

With the current shortage of skilled seasonal workers to service this thriving industry in regional Victoria, the grandt-funded training will help more people complete the formal training pathway to a professional level qualification in shearing, the government said.

At the Sheepvention opening yesterday, Ms Tierney said the Labor Government recently invested $1.69 million to deliver RIST’s Anywhere Anytime Access to Training Pathways Project as part of the Government’s $15 million Agriculture TAFE and Training Fund.


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  1. Brian Clancy, August 9, 2023

    Just because 51 percent of the Australian clip is shipped through Melbourne doesn’t exactly make Victoria Australia’s largest exporter. The Melbourne shipments include Tasmanian, South Australian and southern New South Wales wools.

  2. Peter Small, August 7, 2023

    Well done Bill Hamill and RIST.

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