A Life in Wool

Thinking about a career in the Wool Harvesting industry?
Want to upgrade your skills?
Are you a contractor with staff needing a refresh in training?
Shearing, crutching, wool handling, penning, pressing and more.

A life in wool starts here!

Whaowhia te kete mātauranga
Fill the basket of knowledge

In collaboration with Kaiaka WITNZ and Tahi Ngātahi, WOMOlife offers a new model of training for shearers and wool handlers.

WOMOlife’s training model provides online and in-shed training along with movement coaching to ensure long, sustainable careers in the wool industry.

Fully-funded training, includes:

  • a WOMOlife online course specific to wool handling or shearing (videos, supporting pdfs and quizzes)
  • a Tahi Ngātahi online health and safety certificate
  • a residential practical course in a wool shed (3-day for upskill courses, 5-day for new learners. Includes accommodation and food. Travel costs not included)
  • in-shed training days in the wool shed (additional training to be completed within one year of the residential course)
  • a voucher towards industry equipment.

WOMOlife’s Pilot Upskill Courses

  • Upskill in Wool Handling
  • Upskill in Shearing

Each course comprises a series of bite-size training online videos for easy viewing and reference, filmed using experts in their field, so young shearers, wool handlers and shed hands can learn from the best. Once enrolled, students have access to the videos at any time to check whether how and what they’re doing is correct.

Online training is supported by 3-day practical residential training in the wool shed with our WOMOlife accredited trainers. Time on the stand is a crucial part of this training, but we also talk about life skills, such as managing money (kiwisaver, what a contract means, understanding a pay slip), as well as how to move well and eat well for performance.

Follow-up in-shed training will take place for each student once they’ve successfully completed the residential course.

While WOMOlife’s pilot programme is focussed on Gisborne/Hawkes Bay and Otago/Southland regions, industry training is required nationwide. If you are interested in applying for a fully-funded upcoming upskill course inside or outside of these regions please apply now.

How to Apply for an Upskill Course


If you are a shearing contractor, you will need to tell us some information about your company and list the names of each person you are putting forward.

Note: Applications for our upskill courses are currently being reviewed and upskill programmes for Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Otago and Southland are booked.

New Entrant – Find Out More Here

Are you a Shed Hand or Presser? Or are you new to the industry?
We may have something of interest to you.

If you’re keen to upskill to become a shearer or wool handler OR are interested in becoming a shed hand and learning penning and pressing, register your interest here and we’ll be in touch.

New entrant shearing, wool handling and shed hand courses available October 2021.

About WOMOlife

WOMOlife stands for Work wise, Move wise and at its core is the philosophy work wise, move wise for a longer, more sustainable career.

WOMOlife’s Laura Hancock and Alister Shennan began the journey to create WOMOlife early in 2019, bringing together two visions combining movement and performance enhancement and a new model for the delivery of vocational training in New Zealand.

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About Kaiaka WITNZ

It’s been a tough year for wool, but finally there’s good news – the creation of a new pilot training programme and up to 150 jobs in shearing.

The new training arm, Kaiaka Wool Industry Training NZ, will initially include two pilot schemes in the Tairāwhiti/Hawke’s Bay and Otago/Southland areas, where it will also establish centres of excellence for expert training in shearing and wool handling.

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