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Careers on track as TAFE NSW partners with Highlands thoroughbred breeding operation

TAFE NSW Moss Vale

Careers on track as TAFE NSW partners with Highlands thoroughbred breeding operation

HORSE SENSE: Silverdale Farm owner Steve Grant with TAFE NSW graduate Brianna Sheffield at the picturesque Southern Highlands breeding operation. TAFE NSW has partnered with Silverdale to launch an exciting new intern program.

25 October 2021

A landmark new partnership between TAFE NSW and a major Southern Highlands thoroughbred breeding operation will give high school students a galloping start into one of the region’s fastest growing industries.

The Silverdale Farm Intern Program 2021, the first of its kind for the Highlands, will see six high school students take part in a fee-free immersive five-day experience on the world-class Avoca broodmare and spelling facility.

TAFE NSW’s expert equine teachers will give students a hands-on “taster” of all aspects of the industry, including yearling preparation, foaling, and horse health and behaviour.

Australia has the second largest thoroughbred breeding industry in the world, employing about 8000 people and contributing close to $1.2 billion to the economy annually, with the Highlands fast earning the reputation as an emerging breeding industry hub.

The Intern Program is planned to be the first in an ongoing series of similar programs, the result of an approach to TAFE NSW by Silverdale Farm owner and respected bloodstock figure Steve Grant.

“Steve Grant and Silverdale Farm are significant players in a major industry, and this course has the potential to really open doors for participants,” TAFE NSW Equine Teacher Linda Molloy said.

“Thoroughbred breeding is such an exciting industry to be a part of and there are so many different employment pathways for students. It’s an incredible opportunity.”

Mr Grant, a property investor with a passion for thoroughbred racing and breeding, said his own experience as a teenage apprentice builder inspired him to launch the program - and to choose TAFE NSW as his training provider.

“I wouldn’t have got a start as a young bloke without TAFE NSW and this is all helping kids take the next step in a rewarding and exciting industry,” Mr Grant said.

“As a leading training provider, TAFE NSW was a natural fit as a partner. We have the confidence TAFE NSW will ensure the safety and the programs needed to make this a success.”

Students will also visit Kembla Grange racetrack and nearby racing stables as part of the program. Mr Grant said a scholarship program would also be launched, allowing one lucky student to gain a year’s employment at Silverdale Farm and be connected with a host of industry heavyweights.

The Intern Program will commence next month and students must be 15 years or older to apply. For more information, call 131 601 or visit

Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, (02) 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428