A CROWD of more than 120 people gathered at Godolphin's Kelvinside stud at Aberdeen last month for the announcement of the 2017 Equistart graduates.
The Equistart Work Ready Program is a three week course delivered by the TAFE New South Wales Scone Campus in partnership with the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association (HTBA).
The Program is designed to equip new starters looking to enter the thoroughbred breeding industry with key skills including workplace health and safety, horse behaviour, grooming and handling techniques. It provides industry exposure with local thoroughbred employers providing work placements for all course participants
President of the HTBA Dr Cameron Collins and managing director of TAFE NSW Mr Jon Black led the ceremony and congratulated the inaugural graduates Mikeala Crowfoot, Madeline Dunbar, Tiannah Witney, Chelsea Kowe, Sophie White, Josie Sinnerton, Ashley Craddock, Cassandra Reid and Ester Green for completing the 2017 Equistart Work Ready Program.
"Our people are the backbone of our industry and critical to its success. We must always plan for the future, and our future is in our people, innovation and education. By developing industry led programs in collaboration with TAFE NSW we are able to offer young people the best start to rewarding career in the thoroughbred industry. We are very pleased that many of these graduates have already secured employment with local breeders either as trainees or entry-level employees." Dr Collins said.
“We are very proud of the collaboration between the HTBA and TAFE NSW, which for some years now, has focused our joint efforts on equipping new starters with the knowledge, skills and training (both on and off the job) for a rewarding career in the Hunter thoroughbred breeding industry. We look forward to building on this collaboration well into the future.”
As part of Godolphin’s wider stallion parade events, all visitors were given the opportunity to view or hold the iconic Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Among the inaugural Equistart graduates was Madeline Dunbar from Inverell. The 16-year-old was so keen to participate in the program she convinced her mother, Jane Brookman, to join her for the three weeks camping in Scone so she could attend.
Growing up around horses Madeline is keen to pursue a career in the equine industry. She is already doing track work in Inverell for trainer Allan Foran riding Ruby Two Shoes.
Scone TAFE, teacher Sandra Vodic said the three week course covered theory and on-farm practical work.
“We match the students to the workplace with a number of Upper Hunter thoroughbred studs participating in the program,” she said.
“Its been a highly successful pilot program we the majority of the graduates gaining either part time for full time employment in the industry.”
Students have come from throughout the state and if required accommodation is available.
The next Equistart Work Ready Program will commence on 20 November 2017 applications are now open for this course and further information can be obtained through the HTBA website www.htba.com.au or by contacting TAFE NSW Scone on 02 6540 3201.