Wood and timber processing and merchants industry apprenticeship

The wood and timber industry supplies products for use in residential and commercial spaces, including veneer, plywood, particle board, cork and straw, as well as products made from these materials.

With an annual turnover of over £7 billion, the industry makes a valuable contribution to the UK economy.

Apprentices can follow either a sawmilling or timber merchants pathway. If you choose sawmilling, you will be responsible for machining wood and wood products, identifying the timber to be used and operating machinery. You will almost certainly be involved in sawing, planing, moulding, boring and sanding of wood and wood products.

If you follow the timber merchants pathway, you will find yourself based at the customer end of the business. You could work on a trade counter, advising members of the building trade or general public on products and pricing. You will learn to communicate effectively with customers and ensure that their requirements are met. Other roles could include pricing potential orders, ensuring the safe movement of materials within a timber-based workplace, or packaging finished products ready for shipping.

The production of wood products has traditionally involved skilled crafts and more than a quarter of the people working in the industry are employed in skilled trades. However, the sector is becoming increasingly automated as businesses rise to the challenge of using new technologies to increase efficiency and meet targets for sustainability.

For more information about the wood industry, please visit www.woodskillsacademy.co.uk. This website shows information on careers available, new emerging jobs, transferability of skills, career paths and opportunities for progression. There is information on pay scales, how to enter the industry and what qualifications are available.


Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3)

Starting salary (once qualified):

not available

Job roles:

Wood processor, Sawyer, Saw operator/CNC machinist, Wood machinist, Trade counter, Estimator, Yard/warehouse operative, Sales representative

Issuing Authority:

Proskills UK Ltd – www.proskills.co.uk

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