The Sunday Times - - News - JOSH ZIM­MER­MAN

DOG and cat own­ers are wait­ing months to se­cure salon ap­point­ments for their fur ba­bies as Perth grap­ples with a short­age of pet groomers.

The surg­ing de­mand for high-qual­ity groomers has prompted the McGowan Gov­ern­ment to in­tro­duce a new trainee­ship pro­gram which launches this month.

Stu­dents will spend one day a week learn­ing the­ory on cam­pus at South Metropoli­tan TAFE. The rest of the time they will be paid as they learn and train at par­tic­i­pat­ing sa­lons.

TAFE pet groom­ing lec­turer Candice Ben­ning said the in­dus­try had been cry­ing out for a trainee­ship pro­gram.

“There is such high de­mand for staff, any good pet groomer around Perth is gen­er­ally booked out at least three months in ad­vance,” Mrs Ben­ning said.

“The best way for stu­dents to learn is through prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence so they can learn bathing, brush­ing, clip­ping nails, de-shed­ding and ev­ery­thing up to full scis­sor­ing.”

Dog Groomers As­so­ci­a­tion of WA vice-pres­i­dent Lexie Gold­smith said the 24-month trainee­ships meant stu­dents could ex­pect 15 hours min­i­mum paid train­ing each week and pro­vided em­ploy­ers with cer­tainty about staffing lev­els.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Sue Ellery said the Gov­ern­ment was com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties where there was in­dus­try de­mand.

Pic­ture: Daniel Wilkins

Shaggy dog story: Candice Ben­ning, a lec­turer in dog groom­ing at South Metropoli­tan TAFE, and Lexie Gold­smith from the Dog Groomers As­so­ci­a­tion of WA, with “clients” Bahlu, Zach and Mia.

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