National Qualifications for Papermaking
National qualifications for papermaking are available at Levels 2 & 3. Level 2 is pitched at people who operate a part of the papermaking process; Level 3 at those who have a leading aspect to their job, i.e. Paper Technicians/Papermakers/Senior Operators/Team Leaders; they lead their team of operators and report to either a Shift Manager or Day Manager. Level 2 is also a very good qualification for anyone working in the industry or allied trades who want to gain more than an appreciation of papermaking and lay a foundation upon which to build further knowledge.
The industry has always retained these types of qualifications, historically they would have been awarded by City and Guilds, today they are awarded by PAA\VQSET.
Our qualifications have always been built upon National Occupational Standards (NOS), which have been reviewed and updated, at intervals over the years, by groups of paper technologists drawn from a cross-section of UK paper companies. The paper technologists would have worked under the auspice of the prevailing Standard Setting Body - Paper Federation of GB (PFGB) or Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), historically, and Proskills UK, today.
20 years or so ago, most people working in paper mills would have studied and achieved the C&G national qualification, at Intermediate or Advanced levels.
Over the years, candidate rates have fallen and only now are mills beginning to appreciate anew the value of such qualifications and are beginning to offer their operators etc. the chance to learn more about the principles of paper technology and science and gain a nationally recognised award.
The Machineman Development Programme incorporates all of the Level 2 syllabus and people can sit the examination and gain the award as an integral part of studying on this blue riband programme.