Loss of wool training organisation keenly felt

The demise of Te Ako Wools is a "significant blow" for the wool industry, Federated Farmers says.

The organisation, which was launched in Alexandra in mid-2016, was owned by the New Zealand Shearing Contractors Association. It worked with Primary ITO to provide industry training, including shearing and woolhandling.

Training, attracting and retaining people in the industry had continued to be a challenge, Federated Farmers meat and wool chairman Miles Anderson and policy adviser Sarah Crofoot said in their report to the organisation’s national conference in Wellington last week. Finding staff had become increasingly difficult and the situation was expected to  continue over the next five years, making training "all the more important".

Primary ITO recently said it was working through the options for continued delivery of industry training for the sector.

Federated Farmers had been working with ACC and the Shearing Contractors Association on developing an online training and verification tool for farmers, shearing contractors and shearers for risk management in and around the woolshed.

An initial module was developed in 2017 and a second phase of content development had recently been completed. The product was due to be formally launched in November.

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