Shearer training courses to include new video segments to help improve industry

Headshot of Aidan Smith
Aidan SmithCountryman
The WA WoolTAG advanced shearing and wool handling day at Rhodes Pastoral in Dinninup.
Camera IconThe WA WoolTAG advanced shearing and wool handling day at Rhodes Pastoral in Dinninup. Credit: supplied

Australian Wool Innovation shearer training courses may be about to get a bit more high tech and in depth after the idea of a series of video presentations on life skills, as well as wool harvesting and handling, was pitched to the organisation.

Rhodes Pastoral farm manager Michael Wright of Dinninup, said he put the idea to AWI recently and it was well received.

Dinninup farmer and Rhodes Pastoral manager Michael Rhodes.
Camera IconDinninup farmer and Rhodes Pastoral manager Michael Rhodes. Credit: Shannon Verhagen/Countryman/Countryman

“The videos would be about life skills and basic budgeting, as well as animal welfare skills and classing and wool handling,” Mr Wright said.

“They’ll be for the whole of Australia, not just for WA students.

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“Some of these students haven’t had the best of upbringings so any bit of help you can give them will benefit them — it’s worth it even if only 20 per cent of them take it in.”

He said the videos would be professionally made and be another resource for the industry as it struggles to keep and attract people to the industry.

Countryman understands that AWI is interested in the concept and that there are willing participants lined up to be included in the videos.

AWI already has considerable shearing video content on its website and it has worked with Victoria Education and Training on the shearing VR App.

It is producing some shearing promotional videos in-house, with a new one promoting young people joining the industry set to be released soon.

AWI recently held an advanced shearing and wool handling day at Rhodes Pastoral, with 11 shearers and one wool handler in attendance.

Mr Wright said AWI had shearing trainers, Paul Hick, Luke Harding, Todd Wegner and Ben Frewen, and wool handler trainers, Rebecca Thompson and Jess Harding on site during the course to support and train the students.

He said 280 sheep where shorn during the day, over three runs, and morning tea and lunch was provided by Rhodes Pastoral.

Rhodes Pastoral shears 40,000 sheep a year, producing 1200 bales of wool.

“We’ve had the same shearing contractor here for 20 years,” Mr Wright said.

“If you look after them and provide adequate facilities you will never have a problem sourcing a good shearing team.”

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