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Paper and wood machine operatives operate machines to treat and cut wood, to produce, treat and cut paper, paperboard, leatherboard, plasterboard and similar material, and to assemble and make wooden crates and containers.


  • Cuts and shapes wood using hand and power tools, assembles parts of wooden crates, barrels and other wooden containers using nails, bolts and staples, and fits metal strips and corner pieces to strengthen container as required
  • Examines job requirements, ascertains necessary ingredients and loads machines to beat, mix and crush wood, cork and pulp for further processing
  • Attends and operates ovens, kilns, milling, filtering, straining, calendering, coating, drying, finishing, winding and other machines to produce and/or treat wood, paper, paperboard, leatherboard and plasterboard
  • Sets and adjusts edge guides, stops and blades of cutting machine, threads material through rollers or loads into machine hopper, starts and monitors operation of machine, removes completed work and clears machine of waste material.

Entry Requirements

There are no formal academic entry requirements. Training is typically provided on-the-job. NVQs/ SVQs/vocational qualifica-tions in Fibreboard Operations, Paper and Board Making and in Leather Production are available at Level 2. NVQs/SVQs/vocational- qualifications in Wood Machining are available at Levels 2 and 3.

What could I earn?

Salaries for this occupation tend to start at £14,000 per annum and can progress up to £27,000 per annum.

Is it in growth or decline?

There are currently 4,304 employed Paper & Wood Machine Operatives in the region.

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