Coaching the Shearing Industry
| How will the Shearing Industry get back to the professional, hard working, industry that it once was, with many younger people intent on taking it up and looking up to and wanting to be like the best?
- How do the Professionals in other industries who have a team environment improve skills and get
new blood into their teams?
- AFL, Super 14, Soccer, and other High profile sports or industries that require the teamís best
performance use people who have been the best in that particular sport or industry as coaches and
- Why is it that the shearing industry does not?
The shearing industry has always been easy to get into, and all that was required was a good work ethic, with no education or gender requirements.
Shearing and woolhandling has been virtually the same for close to 200 years.
The biggest changes have been mainly in shearing or woolhandling equipment, less camping out with more travelling
After all it is just removing the wool and picking it up and sorting it.
You donít need to be a rocket scientist or a scholar to be able to do it well
90% of the shearing industry has had little formal education, and those who made a career in the industry did not take up any formal education after entering the sheds
95% of learning was practical with very little theory
Training was usually by those who were working in the shed, and within a few runs people knew if you were going to be any good.
Within a few days you were a good woolhandler, presser or had improved your skills at shearing.
Many potential woolhandlers or pressers who were learning to shear, got a stand when they could shear around a 100 or more in a day. This happened usually in the first year
We have an abundance of professional shearers and woolhandlers Australia wide who have proven they are at the top of their industry.
These people have credibility within the shearing industry, and are available to train teams on the job for periods during the year.
They have ability at their craft with people and team skills that industry workers look up to and try to emulate
Why canít we use these people?
They are not qualified according to the criteria that has been set up by Government and Government Training bodies, TAFES, etc.
The Government took over from the highly successful woolgrower IWS/AWC/AWRAP funded training in Australia in 1996.
It has taken 10 years of Government control of shearing industry training to see the result of this decision, and they have virtually buggared the shearing industry, and will continue to do so unless it is changed
The best trainers cannot train now in this Government controlled system unless they do courses, and pass these, which are nothing to do with shearing or woolhandling and irrelevant to the industry as far as industry training goes
If they pass the courses then they will have an academic qualification as a Certificate 4 Workplace Assessor, and allows them to continue doing what they have been doing, some of them for years and years
This course takes weeks and cost heaps and therefore these people will not attend them
The shearing course, Certificate 11 in shearing from ACTRAC in October 1996 was 56 pages in total, including front cover and back page
The present shearing or woolhandling training course has been added to so much by TAFEs that it has changed from simple and easy, to too much, too long and has no credibility within the shearing industry
Contacts for training are now virtually office hours only, talking with someone who is not from the industry, it changes most years, and no one really knows who or when training is happening.
Most trainers will not be icons or guns who the shearing industry look up to and want to emulate, but people who have an academic qualification when the best would not pass.
Of the current 45 plus World Shearing Record holders, 99% left school as soon as they could, and went in the sheds
How did they manage to be so good and set World Records without todayís training system?
They did it because some of their heroes, guns, older than them, were doing it, and these people helped the younger people and instilled in them their work ethics, knowledge and skills to do better than they had done themselves.
There were no piles of paper, academically qualified trainers, just the real thing in the real shearing industry
It has moved far, far away from that now, and there is the major problem in bringing in and training people
Two things can be done, DO SOMETHING OR DO NOTHING
DO SOMETHING, like what the industry wants, or DO NOTHING and leave it as the government wants and face the circumstances, and watch it get worse