Advances in technology and new types of engineered timber products, has required the forest, wood, paper and timber products industry to focus on developing a sophisticated workforce.
Today, most workers in the industry:
need to be multi-skilled and ready to embrace new and emerging technologies
learn their skills on-the-job, over time, on the machines they use in the workplace and in a normal production environment
gather over time the essential knowledge and experience that contributes to their problem-solving abilities
work within enterprise quality standards that increasingly emphasise product care, maximum recovery and value adding
must meet occupational health and safety (OHS) and risk management requirements.
The industry and its employees need to work smarter, safer and with an eye to quality. Skills development and the identification and assessment of skills are more important than ever.
The vital link between safety and training
Training enables workers to perform tasks to the required health and safety standards, in a way that is safe for themselves and others working around them. The Training Package for the Forest and Forest Products Industry and the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing Industry contain national competency standards that are designed to incorporate occupational health and safety at all levels of job competency - from basic through to advanced. Training employees in safe systems of work supports the job functions they undertake and complements industry competency standards.
Skill development into the future
In the absence of ready-skilled workers to employ, the industry is placing a greater emphasis on up-skilling existing workers. Many activities in the industry today rely on sophisticated technology. Increasingly, workers need to be computer literate and able to work with complex technology that drives the production process.
Tasmanian Forest Operator Assessment and Licensing Scheme ForestWorks Tasmania issues Tasmanian forest industry operator licenses and non-forest harvesting operator licenses to operators in Tasmania and the Northern Territory. These licenses were previously issued by the Tasmanian Forest Industries Training Board. ForestWorks administers an industry database, supports accredited assessors and manages forest industry standards and accreditation committees.
Training as an investment Skills identification and development are crucial to ensuring enterprises remain viable and retain their competitive edge domestically and internationally.
Skills Assessment Formal assessment is a critical process in ensuring that operators have the skills and knowledge to carry out work safely and competently.