A shearing shed became a classroom for 16 students from Tamworth and Peel High schools this week.
The agriculture students put their hands up to get some free basic training in shearing and wool handling.
The Wool Works Shearing School is an initiative of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) that is addressing a skill shortage by introducing high school students to wool industry skills.
"Our rural employers are crying out for skilled workers and our teenagers are not always aware of the rewarding well-paying jobs and training options that are out there," RDANI Chair Russell Stewart said.
"The industry has given our Wool Works Shearing School two thumbs up."
RDANI Executive Director Nathan Axelsson said students ranged from years nine to 11.
"They were clearly engaged because the shearing school is very much hands-on and that's the idea," he said.
"We were fortunate to be able to utilise the facilities at the Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council's Trelawney Station near Somerton, it is an ideal venue."
Mr Axelsson said while RDANI co-ordinates the Wool Works Shearing Schools, they could not do it alone.
"The collaborations that make them possible are a big part of their success," he said.
"We had valued supported from TAFE NSW, Australian Wool Innovation and the Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council, with grant funding from the NSW Government SCCF (Stronger Country Communities Fund).
"Most importantly, we had the expertise and experience of veteran shearers and wool handlers providing the training."
Trainers, Leo Fittler, Matt Cumming, Ross Thompson and Kim Jenkins have years of experience in the wool industry, shearing, wool handling and training.
"They were able to convey a great deal in a matter of days, due to the practical approaches taken in our shearing schools," Mr Axelsson said.
"This was not just an escape from school for a few days, we really put the students to work. At the end of the week, we had shorn over 100 sheep, kindly arranged by Thomas Foods International.
"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 good money. It's work that can result in travel as well as good paying jobs in the local area."
Mr Axelsson said local young people keen to work in the agricultural sector need a broad skill-set to be valuable contributors to local farm businesses.
"Just by demonstrating that, we are doing something important but every participant who might go on to further shearing training is a big win," he said.
More short shearing schools are planned throughout the region in 2022.
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