Industry shortage prompts free training course

Photo: Jesinta Burton.
Photo: Jesinta Burton.

Labour shortages in the sheep industry have prompted a free two-week training course, sponsored by Australian Wool Innovation Limited.

The course is the first of its kind for the region and will provide shearing and shed hand training in a bid to feed more people into the industry.

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The training course, run by the region's peak sheep production association ASHEEP, will commence on Monday, July 1, and will also include free daily transport to and from Condingup.

Upon completion, course organisers will contact local contractors to help trainees secure full-time employment in the field.

With a shortage of people in the industry as a whole, and many current workers approaching retirement, course coordinator Basil Parker said the course was about being proactive and attracting more young people into the industry.

"There is certainly a shortage of people in the shearing industry as a whole, both shed hands and shearers," he said.

"There are issues with getting the sheep shorn. The other issue is that a lot of the people in the industry at the moment are nearing retirement.

"It's certainly an older demographic.

"Aside from the shortage issues we're experiencing right now, we can see it hitting a wall in the very near future.

"Instead of waiting for that to happen, we're trying to see if we can find young people that are interested in it and training them accordingly."

Mr Parker said there were still several vacancies and encouraged young people to give the course a go.

"The course is a kickstarter," he said.

"The two-week course gives participants a really good overview of what is required.

"It will help young people determine whether it is something they would like to pursue.

"If you are a young person and you're unsure what career you might want to pursue, it's something worth looking into because it creates so many opportunities.

"With the shearing industry, you have to want to do it.

"The reward is that the job pays well, too."

The course will run from July 1 until Friday, July 12, from 8am until 6pm.

For more information, or to find out how you can get involved, contact Basil Parker 0427751149.