26 September 2023

Wool students’ app a shear genius

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Students learning the art of shearing are now able to get the help they need at the tap of a screen with the creation of a new Shearing Training App.

Launched by the Minister for Training and Skills, Gayle Tierney the app is part of a Government package addressing the skill shortage in Victoria’s growing wool sector.

Ms Tierney said the app was a collaboration between South West TAFE, the Shearing Contractors Association Australia, Rural Industry Skills Training and Start Beyond, which brings traditional paper learning practices into the 21st century and provides a one-stop digital resource for student shearers.

She said the app included instructional videos on shearing and grinding techniques, was shot in VR and was compatible with popular Oculus Quest and Go Headsets, along with a key knowledge review feature and Q and A.

She said the learning resource included safety advice on topics such as how to shear a sheep safely and correctly, how to look after your health as a shearer and understanding best-practice gear maintenance.

“The app is designed to be used alongside face-to-face training and is available to all shearing students enrolled in formal training from a registered training provider,” Ms Tierney said.

“This new training app will deliver the latest in training and techniques to students and builds on the investments we have put into the industry,” she said.

“Shearing has been at the heart of so many regional Victorian towns for generations and this investment will usher in a new generation of shearers and give them the skills they need as the sector continues to boom.”

She said the app was just one of the ways the Government was supporting the industry to boost the number of highly skilled sheep shearers.

She said funds had been allocated to support the development of new VET qualified teachers to deliver shearing training, to create an entry level qualification to attract more and to support the delivery of training at more locations across Victoria.

Ms Tierney said accredited training was being delivered across 14 regional locations in Victoria in 2020, a significant increase from 2019.

Victoria exported $2.1 billion worth of wool in 2017/18.

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