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29 November 2000

Media Release
Northern Advocate

Coming soon to a shearing shed near you

The Government’s modern apprenticeships scheme kicked off in July. Now, the first shearing and wool handling apprentices are turning up in the sheds.

The scheme, which is in pilot mode, will see WoolPro work with contractors to get young, keen, capable and committed people into the industry, and onto a structured career path.

The first apprentices and contractors to try the scheme have just signed their agreements, which will be the start of a three-year partnership.

WoolPro will coordinate the groups of apprentices, and assist in recruiting and placing them with a suitable contractor. It will then oversee their ongoing training and development.

Outside a core subject – either shearing or wool handling – apprentices will also be involved in setting up their own personalised training plan, which can include units in agriculture, first-aid, communication, computers, leadership or running a small business.

“There’s been concern for some time about the aging workforce in the wool industry,” says WoolPro training development manager Trevor Gardiner.

“Contractors know that the industry needs a constant flow of new entrants, but they need experienced and competent workers right now. Hopefully this scheme is going to help bridge that gap.”

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