Labour market research shows that wood manufacturing employers are looking to hire more entry-level workers and prefer to hire students who are WOODLINKS® certified.
Introducing students to the wood manufacturing industry, WOODLINKS® is a highly acclaimed, industry-recognized program that is offered in high schools across Canada. Its main focus of preparing students with a direct entry into the industry after graduation, or for a smooth transition to post-secondary education and training programs. WOODLINKS® offers a solution to the present and ever-growing concern of a skills certification program offered at the senior secondary school level. This industry-driven program is a result of a partnership among secondary and post-secondary schools and wood industry manufacturers and suppliers.
Recognizing the need for a wood products manufacturing program, a committee was formed and a set of expectations, requirements, and outcomes was produced, and from this a standardized curriculum was developed.
The Wood Manufacturing Council (WMC) adopted the program from this committee (and the University College of the Cariboo, who produced the initial learning guides) and has been diligent in keeping the curriculum current with industry needs and adding new modules to keep up with industry demand.
WOODLINKS® Program Overview
Students who graduate from WOODLINKS® and pass the certification exam receive a certificate in recognition of their skills. Once certified, they are equipped to enter the workforce directly, enter a post-secondary woodworking program, or start an apprenticeship. WOODLINKS® graduates are highly sought after in the industry, and have the passion and drive to be immensely successful in their careers.
WMC offers a total of 11 modules, each at introductory and advanced levels. These include:
Wood Industry Core Curriculum Modules:
- Core Wood Manufacturing – Introductory and Advanced (suggested 120 hours each)
Wood Industry Sub-sector Curriculum Modules:
Each in both Introductory and Advanced Levels (suggested 10 hours each – schools select one)
- Cabinets (mass-produced) and millwork
- Fine woodworking (cabinetry, custom, artistic-custom)
- Panel products
- Remanufactured (engineered) wood products
- Manufactured housing
- Windows & doors (includes architectural millwork and store fixtures)
- Pulp and paper – NEW!
- Lumber – NEW!