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10 May 2001

Media Release
Marlborough Express

New shearers and wool handlers hit sheds

The wool industry’s ‘hands-on’ training programme for young people – the Modern Apprenticeships scheme – is going strong in Marlborough.

The Government’s rejuvenated apprenticeships scheme, launched for shearing and wool handling in June last year, sees WoolPro work with contractors to get young, keen, capable and committed people onto a clearly-defined career path.

And the apprentices are among the most enthusiastic supporters.

Shalom Schnaderbeck, a 19-year-old apprentice shearer based in Blenheim, says the scheme provides a chance for young people to get into shearing and wool handling and get a good contract with their employer.

“You keep active, stay fit, and it’s good to be working,” he says.

Schnaderbeck, who works for Nott Shearing, signed up as a modern apprentice in November last year. He says he first became involved in the wool industry when he met a guy in a pub, who offered him a job as a rousy.

“Since then I’d been working as a wool handler for Tony Nott’s gang, and the odd day or two for other contractors.

“On the apprenticeships scheme, the work is more regular, and you get training as you go. Within the gang there is a focus on a high standard of work.

“I’ll be employed right through the next three years with Tony, and I’ll be heading to work around Dannevirke after Christmas for a bit.

“I’d like to travel, but I’ll always come back to Marlborough.”

WoolPro South Island training co-ordinator Kerri Capill says the wool industry needs a constant flow of young people, like Schnaderbeck, to keep it alive.

“This is what makes this scheme so successful and so vital,” she says.

“Other training programmes have tended to focus on training people that are already in the industry, the aim here is to get new people into the industry, and look after them once they are there.”

Under the scheme, apprentices gain a wide variety of skills and have the security of ongoing employment, while employers ensure that the industry has a first class workforce for the future.

Outside a core subject – either shearing or wool handling – apprentices follow a personalised training plan, which can include units in agriculture, first aid, communication, computers, leadership or running a small business.

Shalom Schnaderbeck says he will be doing some computer training, and as part of the scheme, has worked out some goals for himself – both personal and work-related.

“I want to get my advanced certificate in shearing, and I don’t mind doing a bit of farm work as well.”


More information:

For more information about the Modern Apprenticeships scheme, call WoolPro South Island training co-ordinator, Kerri Capill, tel 03 343 7937.


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