[12 December/NZ Herald]

Wool industry professionals and members of the Wool Industry Education Group (WIEG) will be supporting training organisations to improve wool industry training qualifications in the coming year. NZ Wool Classers Association board member and WIEG facilitator Allan Frazer said the certificate in wool technology, level four, was for people working in the wool value chain sector, which is one of the qualifications being reviewed. He said following the closure of training organisation Tectra in 2015, there was a period of about eighteen months when no-one delivered qualifications. WIEG and other industry representatives initially negotiated with Lincoln University to take over delivery of the course through its Telford campus, which was later sold to the Taratahi Institute of Agriculture. Mr Frazer said Taratahi had enrolled 33 students for the two-year programme at the beginning of 2018, of which 29 had completed the first year and would continue for the second year. 25 new students had registered their interest for the 2019 intake without any course promotion. He said there demand for the wool industry qualification and both the WIEG and the industry would work with Taratahi to further enhance the content to maintain its relevance to the industry. He added the review would enhance the students’ understanding of the wool value chain, wool classing, wool handling and harvesting.