Tyron Cochrane wants to travel the world as a shearer just like his dad and grandad – and he knows that TAFE NSW is the ticket to his success.
Tyron is working full-time with a Dubbo shearing contractor and has completed a Statement of Attainment in Introduction to Shearing and Wool Harvesting at TAFE NSW Dubbo.
Originally from Goodooga in north western NSW, the 17-year-old left school last year and decided work was the pathway for him. He knows that building his qualifications with TAFE NSW will help secure him a lucrative career.
“My dad and my pop are shearers, so it runs through me – I’m proud to do what they did. I like the freedom of it and I want to travel,” Tyron said.
“School wasn’t for me – I wanted to work. Being at TAFE NSW is better for me. There are less people in class and the teachers are good.
“TAFE NSW gives me a place away from the shearing sheds to focus and learn. You can’t really focus at the sheds because we’re all too busy, we’re all trying to make a dollar. Coming to TAFE NSW is great because it means I can slow down and learn the skills I need to get more confident on the tools.”
A shearing skills shortage has emerged in regional NSW since the outbreak of COVID-19, with many employers struggling to attract shearers from overseas and even interstate.
Teacher Wayne Hosie said for students like Tyron, TAFE NSW provides an excellent pathway to build a successful career.
“We focus 100% on skills – skills they can apply straight away in the industry that make them an excellent fit for jobs,” Mr Hosie said.
“We teach the most modern techniques and someone like Tyron responds so well in this environment. He’s a hands-on learner, a doer, so this type of practical course really works for him.”
According to the Federal Government’s Job Outlook agency, strong growth is expected for shearers in the coming years, with employment numbers to increase to 7,100 jobs nationally by 2024.
“There are thousands of kids out there who would be great for this industry but they’ve probably never even considered it because there isn’t a lot of exposure for shearing,” Mr Hosie said.
“But it’s a fantastic industry – you can travel all around Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the Americas, and you can make really good money.”
Mr Hosie said the focus of TAFE NSW courses was to build industry relevant skills and teach students how to work swiftly and safely while doing a quality job.
“Shearing is physically demanding, so it’s important to teach our students to be able to control the sheep effectively to ensure the least stress on their body and on the animal,” Mr Hosie explained.
“The more skills and knowledge you have in this industry, the better off you are. You get paid per sheep so you want to work quickly, but you also need to be safety conscious at all times, and have a strong focus on quality to deliver good returns for the wool growers. Our TAFE NSW courses provide practical, hands-on training on how to get that mix just right.”
Mr Hosie said at TAFE NSW, students were taught by ex-shearers with years of industry experience.
“Most of the TAFE NSW teachers have travelled extensively and learnt from experts themselves, and we take real pride in passing those skills onto young people,” he said.
“The value in doing a course at TAFE NSW is you learn the right skills – skills that increase longevity in the industry, reduce the risk of injury, and increase performance and employability. As teachers, we love passing that insight and experience onto young people.”
Explore hundreds of TAFE NSW courses and pursue your passion with life-changing training. For more information visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
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