Budding SE shearers have a go

BUDDING shearers from the SE and western Victoria got a taste of life as a shearer at workshops near Kybybolite last week.

Undergoing training in the art of sheep shearing by Victorian company Shearer Woolhandler Incorporated, 10 students from the local area and further abroad were put through their paces at Lukeburn, the property of Gary and Sue Smith.

They were taught skills which could see them out on the job as early as later this year when the shearing season starts around spring, according to instructor Darren Smith.

"They'd all start out woolhanding or crutching first up," he said. "Most of them will be doing work when they can, during school holidays for example."

And the earning potential is good - shearers earn $2.74 per sheep while woolhandlers earn up to $1000 a week.

"It's not bad money," Mr Smith said. "In the main season it's pretty full-on."

The students were undergoing their certificate II in shearing and woolhandling during the workshop, while ongoing on-the-job training is available down the track.

Mr Smith said for anyone interested in participating next year, $220 covers the workshop if the participant qualifies for government funding ($60 with a concession card) with all gear supplied.

For more details, contact Mr Smith on 0488 508 837.

He thanked Steve Chaston for supplying the sheep and Gary Smith for donating the venue and power for the day.

Mr Smith also called on any Victorians willing to lend their shed for a workshop to get in touch.

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