SCHOOL leavers and job seekers are being urged to try their hand at shearing through new courses at the Wool Works Shearing School at Glen Innes and Inverell.
Run by Regional Development Australia Northern Inland and Tafe New England, the two free five-day courses will feature hands-on training in both crutching and shearing.
The courses come after the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a shearer shortage across the country due to international shearers being unable to enter Australia.
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Regional Development Australia Northern Inland executive director Nathan Axelsson said the sessions would give aspiring shearers access to the expertise of fully qualified trainers, veteran shearers and a district vet.
"Our Wool Works Shearing School, together with Tafe New England are conducting two free five-day courses," Mr Axelsson said.
"The first will run from January 11 to 15 in Inverell and the second from January 18 to 22 in Glen Innes - I encourage anybody who might be interested to register by calling the Tafe campuses in either location.
"We secured funding from the Commonwealth Government and TAFE NSW to make these two courses possible.
"They are ideally suited to anyone who has finished school in 2020, any job seekers or any adults out there who are interested in learning or improving their shearing and wool-handling skills."
Mr Axelsson said the courses could be the start of a new exciting career for people eager to enter the industry.
"We've run a number of these schools over recent years, specifically for secondary school students, but on this occasion, we wanted to run some shearing schools to upskill job seekers," he said.
"There is a real shortage of shearers and rural workers generally at the moment, so these skills can genuinely translate to employment.
"Shearing and crutching are skills in demand and once qualified, you can earn $300 a day.
"Shearing skills also open up the door to many other job opportunities that are out there in the agricultural sector, which is the highest employment sector in our regions.
"Places are limited, so register as soon as possible."
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