A $100,000 job no Aussie wants: Covid labor shortages mean local workers can make easy money

The $100,000 job no Aussie wants: Labor shortages mean it’s easy to earn and no experience is required – so could you hack it?

  • Australian farms offer school leavers lucrative jobs in sheep shearing sheds
  • The industry normally relies on 500 Kiwi workers to cope with the spring surge
  • Shearers with six months of experience can earn $1,500 a week shearing sheep
  • Seasoned Sheep Shearing Professionals Can Earn Over $100,000 A Year










Australian farms are offering locals lucrative $100,000-a-year sheep shearing jobs as the industry struggles to find enough workers due to Covid border closures.

The country’s wool industry normally relies on 500 New Zealand workers to meet a surge in demand for shearers each spring.

These workers have opted out of flying through Tasman this year – deterred by the prospect of being stranded in Australia or having to self-quarantine on their return.

The NSW Farmers Association has called on Australian high school graduates to fill the labor gap, even if they have no experience.

Australian school leavers are being offered lucrative sheep shearing jobs as the industry battles to fill Covid-induced labor shortages (file image)

There are only around 3,000 local shearers – compared to the 10,000 who plied their trade in the industry 30 years ago.

Shearers with only six months of experience can earn up to $1,500 a week, or $78,000 a year.

Seasoned professionals, known as “armed workers,” typically earn more than $100,000 a year.

However, wages in other areas of casual labor such as hospitality are also booming due to the long lockdown of foreign students and work visa holders, making it all the more difficult for rural industries to attract workers from towns.

The need for labor is particularly urgent in the shearing industry, as farmers earn less for their wool if the sheep’s coat is not clipped for too long.

Helen Carrigan, chair of the NSW Farmers Wool Committee, said there was plenty of money on offer for young Australians who were willing to “try it out”.

“It can be hard work, but it’s rewarding and the payoff can set the savvy saver up for a bright future,” Ms Carrigan said.

“We look forward to seeing young school leavers in search of a life in the bush seriously consider becoming shearers.”

NSW now has a network of mowing trainers who can mentor young workers who want to get their start in the industry.

The industry desperately needs shearers as farmers earn less for their wool if the sheep's coat stays on too long

The industry desperately needs shearers as farmers earn less for their wool if the sheep’s coat stays on too long

All state residents can take the Certificate III in Shearing course for free.

“If we can encourage young people to come into the sheds to be trained and mentored, we can not only set them up for success, but also help solve this labor shortage,” Ms Carrigan said.

The call for workers follows a heavyweight investor calling on refugees and Centrelink beneficiaries to help solve Australia’s supply chain crisis.

David Williams, a financial broker who helped bring Vegemite back to Australian ownership, said the Australian government should look to people on welfare and even asylum seekers to help end drug shortages. workforce across the country.

Mr Williams said people held in detention centres, including those living in the $109-a-night Melbourne hotel where Novak Djokovic was being held, could be ‘given to life’ by a system that would relaunch the Marlet.

“Many farmers are in desperate need of labor to get the produce (off the farm) and all options need to be considered urgently,” he said.

Refugees and Centrelink beneficiaries could be forced to solve Australia's supply chain crisis under a new plan from a major Australian investor

Refugees and Centrelink beneficiaries could be forced to solve Australia’s supply chain crisis under a new plan from a major Australian investor

The Independent Food Distributors Association, which represents hundreds of suppliers across Australia, said staff shortages were having a devastating impact on businesses and rural communities were particularly vulnerable.

“We have to remember that the remote and indigenous communities are out there and we have to make sure that we continue to provide them with food,” chief executive Richard Forbes said.

“It’s the big unknown right now…we need to be as prepared as possible.”

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