Liberal National Party yesterday announced they will commit $500,000 to train new surfboard shapers.

Call it an art, call it a trade, call it what you want. Either way shaping a fibreglass sled has not yet been recognised with any form or accreditation or certificate and after becoming fed up with the lack of interest young workers showed towards surfboard manufacturing, a band of Gold Coast shapers got together and mapped out a plan for their industry that will secure its future and make sure there are fresh runners ready to grab the baton once their race is run.

The LNP has announced that they will commit $500,000 to fund a pilot program on the southern Gold Coast that will hopefully ensure that budding shapers get the training they require to not only mow foam but also pick up admin and business skills they will need to go at it alone once their apprenticeship is complete.

Shaper Chris Garrett said “It’s what we need to catch surfboards up to the rest of the industry and make sure there are actually guys there who want to work and will actually get something out of it.”

“There was an initial outcry from a few of the more experienced shapers out there, worried they were being pushed out, but once we explained it all to them and let them know its their wisdom and their skills that we need to train new guys, they were pretty impressed. With government funding we can now look at developing a curriculum and theory side of their certificate and hopefully we wont be too far away from actually being able to offer a full-fledged apprenticeship”. Said Michelle Blauw from D'arcy surfboards, who has been a massive driving force behind getting the political attention required to get the pilot off the ground.

Senator Brett Mason and Karen Andrews at D'arcy surfboard factory

Pic: Matt Roberts/Nilkon.