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Pulp and Paper Manufacturing

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing industry.

The pulp and paper manufacturing industry can be described as having six sectors:

  • Pulp, Paper and Paperboard Manufacturing
  • Corrugated Paperboard and Paperboard Container Manufacturing
  • Paper Bag and other Paper Product Manufacturing
  • Paper Stationery Manufacturing
  • Personal and Family Care Product Manufacturing
  • Paper Product Merchandising.

The industry includes 717 manufacturing businesses; and 1,206 paper product wholesalers. In general, the sectors are characterised by a large number of small and medium-size producers with presence in local markets and a smaller number of large businesses which often are multinational companies and operate globally. Revenue for the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing industry was over $10 billion during 2014-15.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required in the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing industry in occupations such as:

  • Timber and Wood Process Workers
  • Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators.

Nationally recognised training for the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing industry is delivered under the PPM Pulp & Paper Manufacturing Industry Training Package.

For information on the Forestry; and Timber Processing and Products industry sectors please visit the respective pages.

Information sourced from the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017-2020.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

For the Converted Paper Product Manufacturing industry sector the employment level in 2017 was similar to that of the year 2000 despite some fluctuations over this period. The employment level in the Pulp, Paper and Paperboard Manufacturing industry sector trended downwards between the years 2000 and 2017. Employment levels in the Pulp, Paper and Converted Paper Product Manufacturing industry sectors are projected to remain static over the next 5 years.

The occupations of Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators; and Printers make up over 15% of the Pulp, Paper and Converted Paper Product Manufacturing industry. The employment level in the occupation of Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators is projected to remain flat over the next five years whereas employment in occupation of Printers in projected to decline significantly.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Both program enrolments and completions in the Pulp & Paper Manufacturing Industry Training Package have decreased between 2014 and 2016 despite a spike in completions during 2015. Subject-only (no qualification) enrolments have increased over the same period.

During 2016, all enrolments were at the certificate III level and had the intended occupation of Timber and Wood Process Workers. All training was provided by TAFE and subject funding was split between government and domestic fee for service at approximately 60% and 40% respectively. The majority of students who enrolled during 2016 were from Tasmania.

There were insufficient enrolments in apprenticeships or traineeships to allow analysis.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Pulp and Paper Manufacturing IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017-2020 highlights anticipating future skills needs in the pulp and paper manufacturing industry as crucial in preparing for and meeting the new demands of forest resource sustainability; papermaking markets; and sustainably derived bioproducts in Australia. Leading indicators for the current and future skills needs in the industry include:

  • Trends and/or estimates of workforce supply, skill shortages, employment growth or growing occupations.
  • Future changes in workplace and job design which are driven by innovation at the business and/or industry level as a result of economic, technological, social and environmental factors as well as the introduction of new policies and legislations.

The Pulp and Paper Manufacturing IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017-2020 identifies the top priority skills needs for the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing workforce in the next three to five years as:

  • Skills in specialist paper making and pulping processes to meet compliance requirements
  • Higher level coordination skills in specialist paper making and pulping operations
  • Skills in automated processes for recovered paper recycling and deinking pulp
  • Skills to operate automated processes in converted paper manufacturing
  • Paper product chain of custody skills at all occupational levels
  • Biorefining and nanotechnology skills for paper and nanofibre manufacturing
  • Bioenergy and cogeneration skills.

Additionally the IRC Skills Forecast identifies an ageing workforce as a challenge for the industry through the loss of key skills and the skills gaps created by retiring workers. It is estimated that over 20% of the workforce will be retiring in the next 5 to 10 years. Additionally the coming workforce retirement is likely to bring with it increased job vacancies across the industry and will require significant efforts from employers to ensure the future skills needs of the industry are met.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, employment projections to May 2022
    • 150 Pulp, Paper and Converted Paper Product Manufacturing nfd
    • 151 Pulp, Paper and Paperboard Manufacturing
    • 152 Converted Paper Product Manufacturing.
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2022
    • 7113 Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators
    • 3923 Printers
    • 7129 Other Stationary Plant Operators
    • 7213 Forklift Drivers
    • 8321 Packers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), sex, state and territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 September 2017 <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202017?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit industry, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter
    • 150 Pulp, Paper and Converted Paper Product Manufacturing nfd
    • 151 Pulp, Paper and Paperboard Manufacturing
    • 152 Converted Paper Product Manufacturing.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 2 digit Pulp, Paper and Converted Paper Product Manufacturing industry, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.                                                                                                                                    

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • PPM Pulp & Paper Manufacturing Industry Training Package.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017-2020.

Updated: 05 Oct 2018
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