With staff shortages impacting all agricultural and farming industries across Australia, thoroughbred farms are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain staff. An additional barrier to entry for many prospective employees is they lack the basic horsemanship skills necessary to perform on-farm jobs because they’ve not had the opportunity to learn them. While experienced stud farm managers at individual farms endeavour to welcome new entrants to the industry, and to teach them these skills, the industry labour shortage restricts the amount of time managers have to mentor them.
Against this backdrop, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) identified the need for a central resource for prospective and early-career participants in the industry to be exposed to, and trained in, the animal husbandry practices and skills that support the industry’s existing and continued commitment to horse and human welfare.
This project developed and built an online learning platform, TBA Learning (www.tbalearning.com), which exposes new and early-career workers to concepts related to good horse husbandry and welfare practices. The platform provides farm managers with free resources to help them train employees and offers the industry a way to showcase existing practices that produce good welfare outcomes. For employees, the knowledge gained from training material on the platform ensures they can undertake their roles effectively, which in turn helps farms attract and retain staff.