Shear­ing cri­sis looms, says con­trac­tor

Bush Telegraph - - News - By DAVE MUR­DOCH

Ac­cord­ing to Alan Clarke of Clarke Shear­ing there is a cri­sis loom­ing in the shear­ing in­dus­try and that opin­ion is backed by other lo­cal con­trac­tors in­clud­ing Mavis and Aria Mullins of Mullins Shear­ing.

A short­age of ex­pe­ri­enced shear­ers and wool-han­dlers is start­ing to bite and Alan puts it down to three trends.

In­creas­ingly, young shear­ers are be­ing lured over­seas by big money, able to earn twice as much in Aus­tralia and three times the amount in the UK, ac­cord­ing to long-time op­er­a­tor in the in­dus­try, Mavis Mullins.

It is not just money but the at­trac­tion of dif­fer­ent coun­tries and cul­tures, the chance to fol­low sum­mer all year round and just the sheer ex­cite­ment of hav­ing an OE and be­ing well paid for it.

A sec­ond trend is the de­cline in young peo­ple want­ing to take shear­ing and wool-han­dling on as a ca­reer de­spite the at­trac­tion of the OE. Aria Mullins says Health and Safety reg­u­la­tions mean Fed­er­ated Farm­ers is work­ing with the Pri­mary ITO to in­ves­ti­gate op­tions for train­ing. Alan is look­ing out of the dis­trict and even over­seas to find staff. Aria says Mullins Shear­ing prefers to train their own shear­ers con­trol­ling both skills and work cul­ture. She says at­ti­tude is every­thing.

“If you have the right at­ti­tude leave the rest to us,” she said.

Se­nior Shear Placeget­ters at this year’s A&P Show. From left: 1st Teg­wyn Bradley, 2nd Naki Maraka, 3rd Con­nor Pula, 4th Ricci Stephens with CPWool spon­sor, left.

Se­nior Wool­han­dlers Placeget­ters at this year’s A&P Show. From Left: 1st Sheree Alabaster, 2nd Keryn Her­bert, 3rd Rani Wil­liams with spon­sor Dean Shuker CP Wool.

LEFT: Roland Smith in ac­tion at the Dan­nevirke 2018 A&P Show.

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