Shearers have struggled all summer with not enough staff to get through the amount of work in the Wimmera and now sheep and crop farmer Michael Dignan wants to take matters into his owns hands.
Usually, many overseas workers travel to Australia and the Grampians to help through the sheep-shearing season, but with Australia's borders still shut more help is needed.
Now, Mr Dignan wants to use this time to help give Stawell residents a head start into the industry.
"There used to be a whole lot of shearers in Australia, but now there is virtually none," he said.
"We have relied heavily on New Zealanders and there is no locals taking it up, and I don't know why.
"Because you don't have locals taking it up it is just harder and harder to get everything done.
"What I am looking to do, I don't care if they are male or female, if they are willing to learn the wool industry and the shearing industry I want to get them in there."
Mr Dignan said he wants to use his own experience and networks to help train anyone who is interested in joining the industry, or anyone who wants to build a career in agriculture.
He said because of the worker shortage there is plenty of work within an half an hour drive of Stawell.
A usual day in the shearing shed consists of four two hour runs, five days a week with a usual finishing time in the mid-afternoon.
"In this area, there isn't much travel and you can work every day no more than half an hour from Stawell," he said.
"It is very good for your fitness and it is a very social industry that gives you the chance to mix in with a lot of people and it is very well paid.
"What I am proposing is to get people in the sheds and have them start as a 'rouseabouts' so you can understand how the whole shed works and then move to handling sheep and slowly progress from there.
"With the contacts I have in the area, we can get them either shearing or rousing, or even just basic farm work."
Mr Dignan said the worker shortage has caused problems for Wimmera farmers with increased risk of fly-affected sheep due to delays in applying fly repellant, with thousands of sheep still not shorn this season.
"I have heard of a contractor who is 30,000 sheep behind, so that is a lot of sheep," he said.
"I think a lot of it is young ones who are interested don't know how to get in and that's creating a problem.
"If someone is willing to approach me, I will help them and with our network we will help get some young ones in work and keep them local."
Mr Dignan said anyone who is interested in working with him and gaining a start in the industry can contact him on 0427 809 396.
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