Students learn basics of shearing

St Mark's College students have been learning the basics of shearing and wool handling in a week-long program being run in the school's agricultural centre.

The training is aimed at learners, Year 10 and 11 students, and comes after the campus held a crutching course earlier this year.

The competency-based training, run by TAFE SA, sees students gain a Certificate II in Shearing and Wool Handling. Manager of the farm and trade skills centre, Joel Head, said 12 students were participating this year in the program that has come to the college for more than 10 years.

Some students will have the chance to help Mr Head in the agricultural centre with shearing. He said there was an opportunity to take their skills further.

"They can go off to improver schools," he said.

"There is progress that they can follow."

Mr Head paid tribute to Andrew Longmire, of Redhill, who supplied the college with sheep for the week-long training.

"It's difficult most years to get sheep," he said.

Boarding student, Patrick O'Dea, of Yongala, is no stranger to the shearing shed and first took part in the program last year.

"It's like a home to me," he said, of the shearing shed.

Following school, he hopes to find work in the agricultural industry.

Program coordinator, Josh Sneath, of TAFE, said students could continue beyond the certificate and progress with further qualifications, including wool classification. "We have 20 odd learners schools throughout the state, and try to cover every district," he said.

"The program gives students a better understanding of the shearing shed and wool industry."

The TAFE program also visits locations in surrounding districts including Jamestown, Booleroo Centre, Snowtown and Marrabel.