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Beyond the Bale : December 2014
OFF FARM 27 The International Wool Education Centre will educate university students about wool manufacturing. Pictured is 10 micron Merino wool. • AWI has partnered with leadings woollen textile enterprise The Nanshan Group to establish the International Wool Education Centre (I-WEC) in China. • The I-WEC will educate university students on most aspects of wool manufacturing, and complements the Wool Development Centre (WDC) set up last year. • I-WEC officially opened in October and 53 students have already completed its first training course. AWI and one of China’s leadings woollen textile enterprises The Nanshan Group have worked closely together to establish the International Wool Education Centre (I-WEC), which was officially opened in October 2014. The I-WEC is attached to Nanshan Yantai University, located in the township of Nanshan in the Shandong province, China. Already, 53 tertiary students have completed I-WEC’s first course, run by AWI’s Post-Farm Environmental Issues Manager Dr Allan De Boos, on woven fabric finishing. The development of I-WEC further highlights AWI’s commitment and dedication into fostering the next generation’s education, ensuring that technical education remains readily available in a market as important as China. The collaboration between Nanshan and AWI helps drive the expansion of the Chinese wool textile industry. “The demise of wool manufacturing operations in global regions and its shift to China has left a void for technically based training and education for the wool manufacturing industry,” explains AWI Group Manager for Trade Education Julie Davies. “To fill this void and address both current and future needs, AWI and Nanshan agreed to closely collaborate in the creation of the International Wool Education Centre. The centre will eventually run a whole series of courses, up to degree level, covering most aspects or sectors of the wool manufacturing supply chain. This course content has been developed and is owned by AWI. It will be a Woolmark Company accredited course.” The I-WEC complements the Wool Development Centre (WDC) which was also set up at Nanshan twelve months ago with co-funding from AWI. Although the WDC at Nanshan is primarily focused on research and development, it will play a dual role enabling students from the new I-WEC to gain first-hand practical knowledge by operating for themselves the sample machines housed within the WDC. An official opening ceremony for the I-WEC was held in October and was attended by the mayor of Longkou City Han Shi Jun, AWI chairman Wal Merriman, AWI CEO Stuart McCullough and Nanshan Group President Cheng Rence. The Executive Director of Technical Center of Nanshan Group and Vice Dean of Nanshan Engineering College Mr Pan Feng praised the establishment of the I-WEC and said it would be crucial in maintaining a healthy wool production industry. “The opening of the International Wool Education Centre, as a result of the cooperation between the Nanshan Group and Australian Wool Innovation, is an extremely important milestone in helping ensure the future of both wool manufacturing in China and the woolgrowing industry in Australia,” said Mr Feng. “Without the knowledge of wool processing we won’t have people capable of running wool processing machines in the future.” INTERNATIONAL WOOL EDUCATION CENTRE IN CHINA