Fears of Tasmanian wool classer shortage

Fears of Tasmanian wool classer shortage


Made in Tasmania
Lucy Cooper, Kempton, Tasmania, didn't come from a farming background, but is now a wool trainee at Roberts.

Lucy Cooper, Kempton, Tasmania, didn't come from a farming background, but is now a wool trainee at Roberts.

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There are concerns a lack of succession planning will lead to a shortage of wool classers in Tasmania in the future.

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There are concerns a lack of succession planning will lead to a shortage of wool classers in Tasmania in the future.

Roberts Tasmania wool manager Stewart Raine said in some parts of the state, classers were becoming more senior and were nearing retirement.

Mr Raine said through circumstance, the industry had not attracted a wide range of young talent, meaning a decline in wool classer numbers wouldn’t be counteracted by an influx of young people.

“There is talent in the industry, but not the volume that we need,” he said.

He said the industry needs more Lucy Coopers.

Ms Cooper, Kempton, Tasmania, didn’t come from a farming background, her mother was a police officer and father a council worker, but she found herself working in a shearing shed as a wool handler.

“I discovered that I really enjoyed it, so decided to pursue it after school,” she said.

She got her wool classing ticket in 2016 and is now a wool trainee at Roberts.

Ms Cooper said a lot of people take the natural fibre for granted.

“It’s such an incredibly natural fibre, it’s so diverse and versatile,” she said.

She believed to get more young people in the wool industry, there needed be more awareness raised about its qualities.

“I think broadening their knowledge about what an incredible, natural fibre it is, and all the different ways it can be used, will help persuade more young people into the industry,” she said.

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