Racing Victoria hopes to boost numbers in racing stables with the introduction of two pilot programs.
Stable start and the Slow Trackwork Rider Course have been introduced in a bid to attract more participants into the racing industry.
Melbourne Polytechnic and Community College Gippsland will work in tandem with the Victorian racing industry to deliver the theory-based element of both courses.
For those currently working within the Victorian racing industry and with the appropriate riding skills, the Slow Trackwork Rider Course creates the opportunity to continue working while learning the necessary skills to be an accredited trackwork rider.
Instead of having to commit to a full-time six-month course, the new course conducted by Melbourne Polytechnic, will run one day per week over a 12-week period at the Melbourne Polytechnic Northern Lodge Training Centre.
It caters for experienced horse riders wanting to get started in trackwork riding.
For those wanting to enter the racing industry, the Stable Start Program will deliver a practical experience to learn about working in a stable and around horses and enable the completion of training requirements to be a licensed stable employee.
The program will initially be available Cranbourne Training Centre and Ballarat Racecourse, running one day a week for five weeks and includes both online learning and face to face practical sessions.
It is planned to start in September 2021 pending COVID restrictions.
RV Chief Executive Giles Thompson said the new programs would hopefully continue the growth and development of those 25,000 people employed in racing throughout Victoria.
“From previous experience we know that there is a high demand for upskilling but most of our participants want to ‘learn and earn’,” Thompson said.
“That’s why it’s been important to create flexible, hands-on courses that best support and suit our industry and the way our participants want to learn.”