IRC Skills Forecasts and Proposed Schedules of Work

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ForestWorks facilitates the annual review of the Industry Reference Committee (IRC) Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work for the forest, wood products and pulp and paper manufacturing industries.

These documents incorporate advice from IRCs and stakeholders. After industry consultation, the IRC Skills Forecasts will be submitted to the Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) for consideration. They will be used to prioritise and commission training package development work.

Industry consultation on Draft 2018 IRC Skills Forecasts and Proposed Schedules of Work will happen from mid-February to mid-March via the ForestWorks and Skills Impact websites.

In particular, the Skills Forecasts identify skills gaps and emerging skills needs within industry and determine whether there is a need to change training packages (i.e. units of competency and qualifications). The AISC draws on this information to update their AISC National Schedule, and to determine future Training Package Projects.

Priority projects identified and proposed by the IRCs in the 2018 edition of the Skills Forecasts for development include:

Forest management and harvesting

  • Harvesting technologies for the future
  • Forest management innovation
  • Wood chip export at the portside

Timber and wood processing

  • Sawmill timber and process optimisation
  • Advances in wood machining and saw doctoring
  • Timber product development and supply chain innovation
  • Bioenergy, co-generation and biochar

Timber building solutions

  • Timber truss and frame estimating and design
  • Advanced sales, marketing and customer service skills

Pulp and paper manufacturing

  • Skills in automated processes for recovered paper recycling and de-inking pulp
  • Skills for new technologies in Pulp and Paper Manufacturing (waste energy included in this)
  • Higher level coordination skills in specialist skills paper making and pulping operations
  • Paper product chain of custody skills at all occupational levels
  • Bio-refining and nanotechnology skills for paper manufacturing
  • Bioenergy and co-generation skills

For projects proposed to be developed in the year 2018-2019, the Skills Forecasts provide additional project details to show development work necessary to meet the industry needs and set out the evidence of that need.

ForestWorks will receive feedback on the Draft IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work and will incorporate comments or input into the 2018 final documents on behalf of the IRCs. To find the list of Industry Reference Committee members, you can visit the Industry Committees webpage at