Education & Training Support

Various education and training opportunities exist within the pulp and paper sector. PAMSA’s education ladder outlines three paths for: those who work full-time, school leavers and those students from TVET colleges, with Grade 10-12 or a technical matric.

National Certificate – Vocational (NCV)

The NCV is offered in two certificate programmes – process plant operations and pulp and papermaking technology – from NQF levels two to four. It is currently offered at the TVET colleges of Umfolozi in KwaZulu-Natal, Ekurhuleni East in Gauteng and Capricorn in Polokwane, and provides learners with specialised industry knowledge.

The NQF level 4 NCV process plant operations certificate is preferred by industry for operators involved in the manufacture of paper products, newspapers, facial and toilet tissue, carton containers and many more. The primary function of the people completing this course is to control the high-tech equipment, machinery and systems used in manufacturing processes.

Pulp and Paper Occupational Programme (PPOP)

Although this will be replaced with a Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) qualification in 2018*, this programme currently caters for full-time employees who want to expand their knowledge base of pulp and paper operations, giving them the theoretical and practical training required by most companies. Offered nationally and with a distance-learning component, the PPOP is quality-assured by the FP&M SETA.

*To be replaced by QCTO qualification from 2018 with two-year phase out period.

Unit standard-based certificates

These FP&M SETA quality-assured certificates* are offered to employees as part of their in-house training and continuous development. They include the following:

  • National certificates:
  • Tissue conversion (NQF level 2)
  • Pulp and Paper operations (NQF level 2)
  • Tissue conversion (NQF level 3)
  • Pulp and Paper operations (NQF level 3)
  • Further education and training certificates:
  • Pulp and Paper operations (NQF level 4)
  • Tissue conversion (NQF level 4)

*To be replaced by QCTO qualification from 2018 with two-year phase out period.

QCTO development

In 2015, PAMSA was appointed as the development quality partner to work on four sector qualifications under Quality Council of Trade and Occupations (QCTO).

The project goal is to produce QCTO occupational qualifications and part qualifications for the industry. This work will:

  • Convert three unit standard-based certificates for pulp and paper into two new QCTO qualifications, namely: pulp process controller and paper process controller, each with an NQF level 4 exit.
  • Convert three tissue conversion unit standard certificates to one new QCTO tissue converter qualification.
  • Develop new qualification for Paper and Packaging Collector.

Diploma and degree qualifications

PAMSA works with the universities of Pretoria, Stellenbosch, KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Witwatersrand, and North West. PAMSA has also partnered with the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Tshwane University of Technology and UNISA. The universities are involved in the MSc/PhD programmes while DUT and UNISA present the PAMSA pulp and paper qualifications i.e. a national diploma and BTech degree in pulp and paper technology.

At UKZN modules on wood pulping technology and papermaking technology are offered as electives to fourth-year chemical engineering students.

PAMSA funds two lecturers at DUT and one at the UKZN to provide specialist technical education to the industry.