A Ballarat man who is learning to become a shearer says he is very grateful for the rural scholarship helping him change careers.
Blake Dridan, 26, is a qualified electrician but started rousing (working as a roustabout) in the sheds and then started to do some shearing.
Blake said he comes from the country and thought he would give shearing a go.
“It’s something different and it is a great atmosphere; there’s good mateship. It’s like playing footy in a way. There’s a team and you all work together,” he said.
Blake said he was not eligible for Government funding because he was already qualified in a trade and that was why he was grateful to Fox and Lillie for the scholarship.
Fox & Lillie Rural is a brokerage and direct buying wool company that manages clients from throughout Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, including the Ballarat area.
It recently started working with SCAA Shearer Woolhandler Training Inc to help combat the shortage of shearers in the wool industry. The Shearer Woolhandler Training Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation providing specialised training in wool, shearing and agricultural in the wool harvesting sector.
Fox & Lillie Rural’s managing director, Jonathan Lillie said “we are very pleased to be able to assist a great training organisation such as SCAA Shearer Woolhandler Training. Their staff are highly committed to the industry and to making shearing and wool-handling more professional.”
“We’re seeing first hand the issues with the shortages of wool handlers and shearers in the industry and we are committed to trying to improve this situation,” Mr Lillie said.
Part of this support includes the $3000 Fox & Lillie Rural training scholarship with The Shearer Woolhandler Training Inc that is designed to support students seeking a long-term career in shearing and wool handling.