NSW Stud Merino Breeders Provide Wool Classing Scholarships

    NSW SMBA Wool Classer Scholarship Image

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    Now is the time to take an opportunity to either commence or enhance a career in wool.

    NSW Stud Merino Breeders Association (SMBA) are offering scholarships to undertake certificate IV in Wool Classing and register with the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX).

    The two-year course, through TAFE NSW with funds provided by NSW SMBA’s Trust, is open to all individuals residing in NSW.

    There is no age criteria for the scholarship and successful applicants will have the flexibility to start at any time with the course currently available at 11 campus locations across NSW including Bathurst, Cowra, Dubbo and Leeton.

    This nationally recognised qualification is the minimum requirement needed to apply for commercial AWEX registration and will provide individuals with the skills to prepare fleece for wool classing, determine wool classing strategies, press wool for clip, establish work routines and manage wool harvesting.

    NSW SMBA Executive Officer, Megan Giannini, said this a valuable opportunity for members, commercial growers and wool enthusiasts to gain or expand skills within the wool industry or to broaden their careers outside of their own enterprise.

    She stated it was a priority of NSW SMBA Trust, who contributes financial support to education within the industry annually, to offer something to growers that was relevant to the wool industry.

    NSWSMBA want to support the commercial sector of the industry,” Ms Giannini said.

    “While climatic times are tough for many, this is something that they can go and do off-farm, save themselves an expense and ultimately benefit them in the long run.”

    Wool classing is a skilled trade that can not only increase knowledge of the natural fibre, but poses as an excellent off-farm career for those already operating their own farming enterprise.

    John Cox, NSW SMBA Councillor and Wool Classing TAFE educator, said now is the perfect time to apply for the scholarship.

    “It’s a great time to apply for these sort of scholarships because there isn’t a lot of spare money at home on the land,” Mr Cox said.

    “We are lucky that wool is still a strong commodity, even though there are not as many sheep to be shorn as sheep numbers have dropped due to the ongoing drought.”

    A sixth generation farmer, Mr Cox said as a Tafe educator they are very grateful for the opportunity NSW SMBA Trust have provided by offering scholarships.

    “We are grateful that such a big industry stakeholder is on board to offer such a great thing for students in such a hard time,” Mr Cox said.

    As TAFE NSW is committed to hands-on learning, successful applicants will need to complete practical skills training in a commercial shearing shed.

    Mr Cox said successful applicants will be allowed two years to complete the course, but explained a lot of students get through the course within six to eight months.

    “It’s a flexible course and we try to keep it as practical as we can, because that is the nature of the industry,” Mr Cox said.

    “We try to advise students to do as much of the theory at home as they can, that way we can keep the classes as practical as possible. Of course anything they need to troubleshoot, those topics can be brought up at classes.”

    If you want to become a professional wool classer then this is your opportunity.

    Application forms can be found on the NSW SMBA website and returned to SMBA Executive  Megan Gianinni, Locked bag 4317, Sydney Olympic Park 2127 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Applications close Monday September 30, 2019.

    Further Information:    www.merinonsw.com.au   Megan Giannini, Executive Officer NSW SMBA, ph 02 9763 2744

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    NSW Stud Merino Breeders Association Ltd"Enhancing the value of the Merino"office@merinonsw.com.au
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    Tel: 02 9763 2744
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