The Australian breeding sector is a world-leader and our horses are recognised for their brilliance on the global stage. Our breeding industry is the biggest after America, meaning thoroughbreds make a huge contribution to the regional economy, supporting thousands of jobs directly, as well as many more in related areas such as horse transport, fencing, fodder and insurance.
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia is committed to helping the industry find the next generation of workers and dedicates significant time and resources to finding enthusiastic people to take up roles on studs across the country.
The FAST TRACK program
The Fast Track program gives 12 young people an opportunity to get an accelerated introduction and learning experience to help them progress quickly in a career in the breeding industry.
Fast Track is a collaboration between TBA, some of the countries leading stud farms and TAFE. Those enrolled in the 12 month program will get hands on experience at a respected stud, gain a formal qualification, plus have the opportunity to learn from leaders in the global horse industry.
We believe that trainees will gain an unmatched introduction in all aspects of the thoroughbred industry, allowing them to kick-start a career that offers a world of possibilities.
This opportunity is aimed at anybody who has a passion for horses, no matter your background. If you enjoy an active lifestyle, working outdoors in a social and fast-paced environment, Fast Track could be the start of an exciting new career.
How it works
Twelve trainees will be selected to take part in the one-year program that begins in late June 2018.
As part of the enrolment, trainees will be assigned to a farm in NSW where they will become a full time trainee. Shortly after enrolling the 12 students will be sent to Scone in the Hunter Valley for an intensive three-week teaching block.
As well as studying topics such as preventing equine disease and how to care for pregnant mares at TAFE, trainees will be given a series of lectures and visits by high flyers from breeding.
Among the areas to be taught by industry experts are: understanding pedigrees, conformation and business of breeding. Field trips will also be arranged to visit some of the most prestigious farms in the world, as well as attend a race meeting and social events.
After the first teaching block in Scone is over, trainees will return to their farm to take part in the breeding season, where they will gain hands-on experience in everything from foaling mares, to caring for foals and preparing mares for cover.
In late November the trainees will be back in Scone for their second learning block, where subjects will include raising young horses, handling weanlings and yearlings, and learning about horse behaviour.
Another series of lectures and visits will take place including: a tour of Scone’s world renowned equine hospital, a tutorial from a leading farrier and
After this it is back to the farm where the team will be busy preparing yearlings for the horse auctions that are held around the country and continue right up until the end of the traineeship.
TBA is determined that this program produces well-rounded, capable individuals who can become productive members of the industry. As well as formal learning on equine subjects, trainees will also be tutored in areas to assist their personal development.
Among these broader learning opportunities are basic computer skills, understanding personal finance, first aid, safe driver training and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
At the end of the 12 months a graduation ceremony will be held for all trainees at Scone.
Successful trainees will earn a Certificate 3 in Horse Breeding, a nationally recognised qualification that demonstrates graduates have a solid understanding of how to care for breeding stock.
Teaching will be conducted at Hunter TAFE’s Scone campus, which is in the heart of one of the world’s biggest breeding centres.
Questions & Answers
Which farms are taking part and where are they?
The majority of leading farms in NSW have agreed to support the Fast Track scheme. While there are studs around the state, the hub of the breeding industry is in the Hunter Valley, based around Scone. While we can endeavour to find trainees positions on farms in their region, the reality is that it may be necessary to move to take up one of the spots on Fast Track.
What is life like working on a farm?
If you love horses then life on the farm may be the perfect job for you. You’ll be part of a team working outside and spending the day with the animals you love.
But like any job that involves caring for animals, the hours can be long and sometimes antisocial. It is part of normal farm life to be rostered on weekends and, during foaling season, through the night.
The people that succeed in the breeding industry are committed to their jobs and accept that this isn’t a role for those wanting to work 9 to 5.
How much will I get paid?
Farms will be required to pay trainees under the Federal Government’s award system, using the Pastoral Award. This wage will also be paid even while the trainee is away from their employer farm and attending TAFE in Scone.
After graduating from Fast Track, trainees can expect a pay rise if they remain with their employer.
What experience do I need?
Fast Track is open to everyone, no matter what your background is. However, when assessing applications your experience with horses will be taken into account. Those who have had limited contact with horses may benefit from undertaking a preliminary course run by TAFE in the Hunter Valley.
Will it cost me anything?
All the education and teaching provided to those enrolled in Fast Track is free to the trainee. The costs of the TAFE qualification and the additional learning opportunities (such as first aid, safe driving and computer skills) are being met by TBA and the studs involved. We view this as an investment in the future leaders of our industry.
What if I’m based outside NSW?
Fast Track is available to anybody outside of NSW. However, upon successful enrolment on the course, trainees will have to be based at a farm in NSW. This is a requirement due to rules around TAFE.
When does Fast Track start?
Our first enrolment is happening now, with the traineeships to start in late June. The first intensive teaching block will begin in early July 2018.
Where will this lead me?
There are numerous roles in the breeding and thoroughbred industry including: foaling attendant, yearling manager, stallion handler, vet nurse, stud logistics, bloodstock agent, and nominations manager.
Nearly everybody involved in the industry has done some time working hands-on with horses on a farm, even if they now have an office-based job. Fast Track is designed to give trainees an intensive learning experience that will set them up to succeed no matter which way they want to take their career.
Breeding is also a global industry that provides the opportunity to travel for those who are keen to spend time overseas.
For enquiries about the FAST TRACK program please contact Cecelia at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02 9663 8444.