TAFE NSW is now offering a school-based shearing traineeship in an attempt to address rural skill shortages within the industry. For the first time in the New England area, students in year 11 and 12 can complete a Certificate II in Shearing.
Minister for Agriculture and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall announced the NSW TAFE traineeship today, with the aim to equip students with job—ready skills and a nationally recognised qualification when they finish their HSC.
Australia is experiencing a severe shearer shortage, with fewer than 2,500 currently employed, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The global COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the industry’s deficiency, as employers struggle to attract shearers from interstate and New Zealand.
“We have an ambitious goal to grow our state’s primary industries from $16 billion to $19 billion by 2030, and education is a key part of our strategy,” Mr Marshall said.
“By supporting students to gain valuable skills, they will be able to secure jobs ensuring our agricultural industries have the workers they need to grow and thrive.
“Our farmers and growers continue to face labour shortages across a range of industries and while we are working to alleviate the immediate shortage, investing to train our young people in regional areas will help shift our reliance on foreign labour.
“Programs like these are a nod to the future. We are providing the training opportunities and hands-on education required to get into an industry which has made this region so successful.”
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said traineeships like those offered by TAFE NSW would help develop home-grown talent to fill the emerging skills gap.
“The NSW Government, through TAFE NSW, is proud to be helping our New England communities by ensuring the workforce of the future is equipped to meet the skills demand in our local region,” Mr Lee said.