New shearing school for the Monaro

A NEW shearing school has sprung up to meet the demand for more quality shearers on the Monaro.

Funded by the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) in partnership with Illawarra TAFE, the shearing school started last week hosted by Brian Clifford on his property 'Karuna' at Shannons Flat.

Under the guidance of teachers Neil Lynch and Kylie Clifford students will learn basic shearing techniques, catching and shedding sheep, grinding combs and cutters, throwing fleeces, skirting and work health and safety aspects of sheep and shed work.

Jillian Atkinson, head teacher of agriculture, primary industries and natural resources at the Illawarra TAFE said the AWI wants to increase the number of quality shearers in the Monaro region.

"AWI have recognised there is a need," Ms Atkinson said.

"TAFE have followed on and we now have a trained shearing teacher, Neil Lynch and Kylie Clifford who is our wool classing teacher."

Ms Atkinson said Mr Lynch will visit shed where the students are working and give them support and advice to improve their shearing.

"They are enrolled in a certificate of attainment which will lead to a certificate two and three in shearing. This is the first step to get them going."

This is the first school conducted by the Illawara TAFE, previously run by the Western Institute of TAFE, based in Dubbo.

Ms Atkinson said AWI approached Illawara TAFE to do more shearer training on the Monaro.

"There is a growing need, another school is planned for the first semester in 2014. She said the number of students in each school was kept to a minimum to allow for maximum supervision.

For more information contact Jillian Atkinson at 02 4823 18 78 or Cooma TAFE .

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