Industry demand is behind a new course for station workers covering machinery operation and stock handling
Shearing, welding and vehicle servicing are all part of a new TAFE SA course designed to equip people with the skills needed to pursue a successful career in the agriculture sector.
The Pastoral Worker course launched last week (Monday, February 25) with 10 students from regional SA taking part in motorbike maintenance and butchery lessons at TAFE SA’s Regency Park campus.
The course – targeting those wanting to work on large station properties - will be delivered in intensive blocks of three to five days over 12-15 months at Regency Park, Roxby Downs, Port Augusta or on a station, depending on the skills being covered.
Robin O’Dea, TAFE SA’s Manager of Regions, said the pastoral program had been developed in consultation with Livestock SA and local employers.
“Our station owners and managers are finding it hard to get suitable long-term workers, so we met with them to talk about the kinds of skills they needed,” he said.
“It’s basic things like knowing how to mend a puncture on a motorbike and how to apply first aid through to putting up a fence properly and using new techniques such as low-stress stock handling.
“Our aim is to build a base of workers with a suitable skillset available for employment. We hope to entice new workers and upskill existing ones.”
Mr O’Dea said the accredited training would be conducted by experienced TAFE SA lecturers in conjunction with industry experts.
“We’re thrilled to have 10 students in the starting group because it can be hard for employers to make the time available, and we’ve had a lot of interest for the next intake,” Mr O’Dea said.
Topics will include sheep and cattle handling, welding, fencing, grader operations, tractors and implements, and appropriate chemical use (Chemcard).
Mr O’Dea said the course could be adapted to suit cattle or sheep properties and he hoped to expand it to other parts of the state.
“It’s an opportunity for TAFE SA to reinvest in our rural communities through this training,” he said.
The Certificate III-level training for new and existing station workers is endorsed by Livestock SA. For enrolment inquiries, contact Shanon Pillion, Pt Augusta campus, on (08) 8648 9980.
Motorcycle maintenance was one of the subjects covered by students (from left), Taylor McCarthy, Lachlan Clarke, Sophie Palmer, Dusty Ward and Abraham Tuckwell, in the first week of the pastoral workers course at TAFE SA Regency campus.