Wool Clip Grading course pilot a huge success

Fourteen wool handlers attended the inaugural Southland Institute of Technology (SIT) wool clip grading course held at Telford recently, the first National approved certificate offered to wool handlers for over four years.

The course is a micro credential with 10 NZQA credits (100 hours of learning) and is approved by the Tertiary Education Commission and NZ Qualification Authority.

Participants came from around the South Island: Marlborough, Canterbury, Central Otago and Western Southland.

Bruce Abbott was ably assisted by Kristal Wilson (classer and experienced wool handler) and Ken Payne (shearer) in the delivery of the course. Others who helped put the course together included: Laurie Boniface & Richard Gavigan (distance learning component), suppliers of wool samples (farmers & brokers), Bronwyn Campbell ((Tahi Ngatahi), Jenny Harraway (NZ Merino), and staff at Telford and SIT.

MPI were sponsors of this first course.

“The overall presentation and content of the course received very favourable comments,” said Bruce Abbott, “with a 95% approval rating. A very pleasing result given the course was put together in a short time frame once approval was given by NZQA, and wasn’t without its challenges”.

Having completed this practical component the participants then have to do two distant learning assignments. Once all of these have been successfully completed the participants will receive a National Certificate from SIT.

“The qualification recognises the skill and experience senior wool handlers have,” Abbott said. “To me the official recognition for the job they do has been a long time coming. Wool preparation can add value to the clip or take value off, depending on the workmanship, and that has needed to be recognised by the wool industry for a long time.’’

This was a pilot course and some changes will be made to further enhance the presentations in the future. Due to the level of interest it is proposed to take the course on the road next year to other regions for ease of attendance and delivered in a shearing shed.

Comments from participants:

“Excellent. Very informative. A great concept of wool handlers’ recognition. Hopefully takes off & can improve the quality of XB & Mid Micron wool which leads to production of a recognised quality product.”

“Really enjoyed the course overall wrapped l got to be part of it and l would love to move to the next level with it all.”

“Very presentable learned a lot some challenges recognised to improve on etc.”

 “It was in places lacking organisation and direction but was extremely informative and interesting. Encouraging to see what was already known.”

“Really good – up there with the block course for Wool Technology Certificate. Good to have that level of info available and hopefully encourage further study within the industry.”

“Overall, the course was awesome, really appreciate the time and effort put into this course. Thank you very much.”

“Being told one thing from the teacher then being told another thing (totally) different confused a few of us. example raddle (what to separate) (what goes together) Confused!!!! Thanks Bruce.”

“Thank you for all your Knowledge! Hope to see you soon.”

“Enjoyable overall thank you for all your Mahi.”

“Thank very much to Bruce and Crystal, awesome job.”

“Enjoyed: clearer understanding of why we do what we do in the shed at work.”

“Enjoyed the course. Learnt a lot.”

“No final comment, gave a 9 out 10 mark.”

“Awesome opportunity, grateful for all the knowledge lve soaked up in the last two days and all the knowledge l can share with my learners this main shear and years to come. Thank You.”