The wool industry is seeking providers for its new $1.8 m pilot training programme – Kaiaka Wool Industry Training NZ.
Declining sheep numbers, poor wool prices and Covid border restrictions have combined to create a serious shortage of shearers in New Zealand.
NZ Shearing Contractors’ Association chief executive Phil Holden says: “The ratio of shearers to sheep in New Zealand is at a historic low. An anticipated lift in Australian pay rates will further contract the New Zealand workforce once COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted. We really need to act.”
“We are looking for providers who can develop and deliver a sustainable, integrated training model for shearing and wool handling over a two-year period.”
During the pilot phase, up to 270 people will be trained, and 150 new jobs created.
At least 70% of new employees will be Māori.
Kaiaka will also establish two wool harvesting (shearing and wool handling) pilot training centres in Gisborne/Hawkes Bay and Otago/Southland.
“Kaiaka training providers must be able to develop and deliver the proposed model at the volumes required over an 18-month period and also create a model that is sustainable into the future. After the completion of the pilot we will be looking to partner with an alternative funding provider,” Holden says.
“We need a model that is smart enough to overcome traditional barriers to training in the industry such as delivering face-to-face training to rurally isolated, transient trainees. It also needs to be flexible enough to meet the learning needs of a diverse workforce and create a coherent set of skills and knowledge to revitalise the industry. We expect a mix of face-to-face and online learning will be required to meet these goals.
“This is a unique opportunity to be part of shaping a new and future-focused training approach for one of NZ’s most iconic industries. Providing skilled staff for the wool harvesting industry has huge positive economic benefits for New Zealand, as well as providing stable career pathways for trainees.”
Interested parties can direct enquiries and source relevant application documents by emailing: Suzanne Kennedy at email@example.com
The deadline for proposals is 5pm 13th November.