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3 August 2000

Media Release
Waikato Times Farm Editor

New apprenticeships promising, says contractor

Apprenticeships for young shearers and wool handlers could help workers and employers alike, says shearing contractor Ewen Mackintosh.

The wool industry has been chosen for one of the 12 pilot Modern Apprenticeships schemes announced by Government in mid July. The pilot will be run by WoolPro, and will feature new style apprenticeships in shearing and wool handling.

The scheme was launched in the northern North Island in Hamilton on Monday, with MPs Nanaia Mahuta (Te Tai Hauauru) and Martin Gallagher (Hamilton West) as special guests.

The initiative was given the thumbs up by contractors at the meeting.

“It’s definitely promising,” says Mackintosh, who runs a large shearing business from Taumarunui.

“It will give the young people a bit of recognition, and that means a lot to them. Also, it will make us do our job better, with a proper training programme giving our young workers a good foundation in the industry.”

Apprentices in the new scheme will be recruited and placed with employers by WoolPro, who will continue to support their work and training for the three year period.

Each apprentice will have a personalised training plan, which can include units in agriculture, first aid, communications, computers, leadership and running small businesses.

Mackintosh says the recognition of the shearing industry comes at a crucial time.

“At the moment anything that helps get young people into our industry has got to be positive.”

WoolPro business development manager for shearer training, Peter Taylor said after the meeting the contractors’ response to the scheme was encouraging.

“At the start there were some who were doubtful but they were one hundred percent for it by the end.

“I’ll be very surprised if it doesn’t get off to a great start.”

[ends]

For more information, please contact:

Peter Taylor, Tel 06 356 8611, or 025 424 465

 

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