Wood machinists play a crucial role in creating quality timber products that adorn our homes and structures. They are skilled at working with a range of hand tools and machinery, and understand the different types of timber to produce floorboards, kitchen counters, bars, banisters, skirting boards, window and door frames, and more. There are currently two qualifications to support the skills of this job role: the furnishing qualification MSF30322 Certificate III of Cabinet Making and Timber Technology with a specialisation in wood machining, and the forest and wood products qualification FWP31121 Certificate III in Wood Machining.

The Certificate III of Cabinet Making and Timber Technology is the result of a 2022 project which merged three furnishing qualifications, with the aim to retain expertise in crucial job roles, while offering the potential for other career pathways in related areas.

As one of ten new Jobs and Skills Councils (JSCs), Skills Insight was contacted in 2023 by stakeholders with concerns about the title of the Certificate III Cabinet Making and Timber Technology as it may seem like those who have undertaken it are trained in cabinet making rather than in the distinct trade of wood machining. Concerns were also expressed about the reduction of wood machining specific units from 25 in 2008 to only 8 in 2022 and that future graduates may lack the broad range of skills required for competence in wood machining. It is important the qualification reflects the necessary skills and its purpose is clear, so learners and employers have access to the skills they need and those skills are recognised.

Skills Insight is undertaking a research project to explore the complexities of the issue and will produce a report, including:

  • A summary of how and why the current Certificate III Cabinet Making and Timber Technology came to be
  • Information about what the wood machining job role looks like in both the furnishing and forestry industries
  • An overview of how the Certificate III Cabinet Making and Timber Technology and Certificate III in Wood Machining are being used
  • A summary of stakeholder feedback, gathered from site visits and consultations between August 2023 and January 2024
  • Potential opportunities and challenges related to making adjustments to the recently published qualification
  • Possible solutions for any ongoing stakeholder concerns.

We welcome your feedback at any time throughout the project. You are encouraged to register for project updates through our newsletter using the subscription button above. Alternatively, please feel free to get in touch with the activity manager Julie Stratford at [email protected] or by calling 03 9321 3526.

Project Team

Julie Stratford
Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Skills Insight
[email protected]

Consultation so far

Duraform apprentice Donald Coles
Duraform employee Donald Coles
Duraform employee Sandra Martins

Apprentice cabinet maker Karen Suze at TAFE NSW Lidcombe Campus