New Fast Track trainees start their journey
Seventeen new Fast Track trainees began their journey into the world of thoroughbred breeding on Monday with the aim of building successful careers in the industry.
Launched last year by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) in collaboration with TAFE NSW in response to staffing shortages in the breeding sector, the Fast Track training program offers passionate horse people a formal pathway into the industry.
Over the next 12-months, trainees will study for a Certificate III in Horse Breeding at TAFE NSW Scone while completing full-time traineeships with some of the country’s most respected stud farms. More than 250 applications were received from around the country, leading to an increase in the number of places offered on the program.
“The response to this year’s intake has been outstanding, with double the number of applications from last year,” said TBA Chief Executive, Tom Reilly.
“It demonstrates to us that there are plenty of people out there who would love to build a career working with horses and who are just looking for a start. Fast Track offers exactly that; 12 months practical experience working on a reputable farm combined with a formal qualification. It is the perfect entry-level pathway.
“The program is really starting to build momentum and I am confident that we can continue to grow Fast Track into something that is of real benefit to breeders,” added Mr Reilly.
The 2019 cohort is made up of students from New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. Among the intake is a qualified accountant, a beauty therapist and a dive master. The majority of the group have had little to no exposure to thoroughbreds.
The group will spend the next four weeks at TAFE NSW Scone campus where they take part in an intensive learning experience designed to prepare them for life working on a stud farm.
Trainees return to Scone in late July for another two weeks of structured learning before re-joining their farms where they continue their on-the-job learning for the remainder of the 12 months.
“A first for the industry, the Fast Track program allows students to combine their TAFE NSW studies with paid employment as they gain the essential knowledge and practical skills employers require of successful participants in the thoroughbred breeding industry,” said TAFE NSW Scone Head Teacher, Animal Care & Management, Suzanne Walsh.
Along with the formal units of study, TBA has organised a host of additional lectures and field trips to ensure trainees get the best possible introduction to the industry.