Fresh eyes to tackle Tasmania's shortage of shearers

Primary Employers Tasmania hires Locky West to look at shearers shortage

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HARD WORK: Former shearer Locky West has taken up a project manager job for Primary Employers Tasmania's latest project to recruit, train and retain shearers and shed hands. Picture: Supplied

HARD WORK: Former shearer Locky West has taken up a project manager job for Primary Employers Tasmania's latest project to recruit, train and retain shearers and shed hands. Picture: Supplied

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Locky West looks to take action and discover new ways to attract young guns to the industry.

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A shortage of shearers in Tasmania has Locky West looking to take action and discover new ways to attract young people to the industry.

The former shearer, turned Honours Science student, was appointed the project manager of Primary Employers Tasmania's latest project to recruit, train and retain shearers and shed hands.

For too long shearing has not been recognised as a proper career, said Mr West.

"So I will be working as hard as possible to see a formal qualification developed for shearing, similar to that available for building or plumbing, so more school leavers consider life-long work in the wool industry," he said.

"Many people living in the cities don't even know that shearing and wool shed work exists as a possible job option and career path."

Mr West's long career is proof of the rewarding opportunities shearing could bring.

"I spent 13 years shearing and managing shearing teams, working in a full range of conditions from minus five degree frosts in shearing sheds at Ross to shearing goats in 49 degree heat in the Middle East," he said.

"I have a huge passion for Tasmania's sheep and wool industries and am very excited about promoting careers, training and support in shearing and wool handling."

Primary Employers Tasmania president Felicity Richards said the state needs long-term solutions to attract and retain shearers and shed hands.

"Tasmanian wool growers have been impacted by a shortage of shearers, which has been in part due to border restrictions," she said.

The story Fresh eyes to tackle Tasmania's shortage of shearers first appeared on The Examiner.

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