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29 November 2000

Media Release
Northern Advocate

Bringing in the new blood

A cooperative effort by WoolPro and the contractors association to promote wool industry careers to students is already paying dividends.

At its heart is an expanded programme for secondary school students that gives kids hands-on experience of shearing and wool handling, along with across-the-board knowledge of the wool industry.

WoolPro business development manager for shearer training Peter Taylor says there’s already been good take up. More than 20 schools have signaled they are keen to send a group of senior students to a one-day course. There’s also been interest from some university students.

Out of three courses already run in the Manawatu, 20 students had signed up for learner shearing courses, from a total of 50.

Mr Taylor says WoolPro has offered agriculture students a day in the sheds before, but this time the day is open to the whole senior school.

Capable and keen individuals are then invited to join a formal learners programme in their field of interest.

“The angle we’re using is different too,” he says.

“We have to update the way we promote jobs in our industry, if we want to attract young people.

“We’re making it clear that shearing and wool handling work can be a means to several ends – it’s a good way to avoid or knock off a student loan, it can get you around the world and home on a good income, plus it’s got the competitive edge that so many thrive on.

“That means a lot to today’s school leavers. They need to know they will earn okay, and it’s good if they can show they learned discipline and focus in our industry.”

A brochure promoting the schools programme was released to schools earlier this year, highlighting career opportunities in the wool industry, with a particular focus on shearing and wool handling. The information will also be on WoolPro’s website (www.mwi.co.nz) with links from career-search sites.

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