Picture the stereotypical shearer, what do you see? An older worker closer to retirement than to the peak of their career? N K Shearing are setting out to change that.
(Nick Van Elk & his shearer sons – Aaron & Nathan)
Nick and Karen Van Elk are the respected name in shearing contracting around the Benalla district and beyond. Walk into their typical working day and you’ll see a professional team with their heads down and bums up (literally for some of them). But, there is something different about this team that will serve the future of the shearing industry well.
Of the 28 shearers, woolhandlers, pressers and woolclassers working for Nick and Karen half of them are under the age of 27. This is not just a coincidence. When Nick started contracting he was faced with an aging workforce and saw a need to do something about it.
N K Shearing strongly encourages traineeships early on in their employee’s wool industry careers and work closely with industry training bodies to provide the best education available. They’re getting it right, right from the start.
Many of the staff are multi skilled and looking to make a lifelong career in the woolsheds. Not only is this infusing youth into the industry but keeping up the top skill level and professional reputation that N K Shearing have earnt.