Sunday

Wool Harvest

With 5000 shearers and a similar number of wool handlers needed full time for shearing and crutching each year in Australia, as well as similar figures for part time employees, there is always a need for new entrants to the industry to work and travel on the wool harvest trail. It's certainly worth considering when you plan an Australian working holiday.

Wool harvesting is actually a world wide industry that also opens up job opportunities for workers to travel to over 40 countries globally.

Wool harvesting essentially involves shearing sheep and includes other work preparing the wool for sale. The wool harvest trail takes place in all states of Australia. Therefore workers that are prepared to travel, can find jobs for most of the year.This industry will offer you a challenging, physical and interesting lifestyle. It often requires extensive travel and young workers will view visits to regional and remote areas of Australia as an attractive benefit to their working holiday in Australia.

The four main job categories in the wool harvesting industry are: 
  • shearing
  • wool handling
  • wool pressing 
  • wool classing
Most workers who are new to the industry will start as wool handlers and may be employed directly by a wool grower, or be part of a shearing contract team.  There is a reasonably high turnover of shearers and wool handlers due to the physical challenges that the work involves. You will need to have a moderate to high level of fitness to undertake work on the wool harvest trail, however wool handling work does provide an excellent starting point for those interested in employment in the wool harvesting industry during their working holiday. 

You will work as part of a team alongside shearers, wool classers and other shearing shed staff. Your skills in wool handling will be largely learnt on the job. A good wool handler will learn and be skilled and trained in a the following tasks:
• picking up wool fleeces
• sweeping the shearing shed floor boards
• skirting and rolling up the wool fleeces
• placing sheep in pens
• pressing the wool into bales

Resources are also available to help itinerant workers to gain a basic understanding of the tasks and responsibilities that are required of wool handlers and other entry level shearing shed staff.  For more information FREECALL 1800 062 332

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