Shearing crisis looms, says contractor
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.