Budding shearers have a go

IT is described as “the toughest job in the world” but shearing is definitely a viable career option.
Nanjing Night Net

Budding young novice shearers from the SE and western Victoria were given a taste for the job last week at Lukeburn, near Kybybolite.

They were trained in the art by Victorian company Shearer Woolhandler Incorporated through experienced instructors Darren Smith and Stuart Grigg.

Mr Smith said the students had picked up shearing well, even the younger ones in the group who were around 15. He said teenagers who wanted to leave school and get a trade could earn good money after finishing a Certificate II in Shearing or Woolhandling.

Depending on the amount of work, a young shearer could shear 120 sheep a day after a couple of weeks’ training. “Once they can already shear a sheep, they’re fine,” Mr Smith said.

He said contractors usually started youngsters in woolhandling – hence their training in that – then gave them a chance to shear a little with help, then moved them up to crutching and eventually full shearing.

He said there was plenty of work around for local shearers.

“In the main shearing season around here it’s all guns blazing,” Mr Smith said.

“That’s mainly in the spring but there’s an autumn season as well.”

A Certificate III came with on-the-job training, he said, and government subsidies applied for students aged under 20 with no other qualifications.

The 13 shearing instructors at Shearer Woolhandler put on 14 shearing schools a year ranging from novice through to professional.

He said Shearer Woolhandler would hold a local school at the same time next year, depending on numbers.

He also said they would also like to run another novice school.

For more details, contact Mr Smith on 0488 508 837.

The instructors thanked Steve Chaston for supplying the sheep and Gary Smith for donating the venue and power for the day.

Instructors Stuart Grigg (left) and Darren Smith demonstrate correct technique last Thursday during a shearing workshop at Lukeburn.

Ben Lively “pens up” to get the sheep ready to be shorn.

Nathan Skinner takes part in the shearing training at Lukeburn last Friday.

Young Naracoorte shearer Blake Hindmarsh gets started on a sheep.

Ollie Chaston has a go.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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