Welcome to the Timber and Forestry Training College (TFTC). You may have heard of it or learnt from former students of this College. We like to extend our warmest gratitude for choosing forestry as your career pathway and its exciting and challenging profession where one gets acquainted with touching and shaping wood to usual form. 

Developing PNG through sustainable Forestry


The Timber and Forestry Training College is an autonomous training division of the PNG University of Technology in Lae, Papua New Guinea. It is the leading institution in its field and the only institution of its kind in Papua New Guinea that conducts vocational, technical and trade for the timber industry.

The college was established in 1977 as a bilateral aid project between the Governments of Papua New Guinea and New Zealand and commenced its formal training in 1978. From 1977 to 1994, the institution was named the ‘Timber Industry Training College (TITC) and managed by the then Department of Forests as it was known in the 70’s and 80’s. In 1994 the college was affiliated to the University of Technology and re-named as, “The Timber and Forestry Training College (TFTC)”


The college is located 3.5 kilometers North West of Eriku’s main shopping center in Lae, Morobe Province. The campus occupies 10 hectares of land along the Bumbu road and river on a piece of land known as portion 162, section Lae.

Training and Other Facilities

The training facilities at the college are excellent and includes a production sawmill with band and circular saws, a well equip saw maintenance workshop, extensive equipment for wood machining and furniture manufacturing training, logging equipment, timber drying and preservation plants and portable sawmills for sawmilling training. All machinery and equipment is of advance design and produced by world leading manufacturers.

The college provides good permanent accommodation for up to 100 students, which includes a dormitory that can accommodate 30 female students. The messing facility is conveniently located near the dormitory which makes it easy for the students to access the mess during meal hours.

There is a main classroom full equip with computers and modern teaching aid available for classroom instructions. The college has a library with good stock of technical and literature books which are available for students use. The seven academic sections have classrooms for theory teaching and practical instruction.

Sports are well catered for with the College available two sports fields for soccer/rugby, a tennis/basketball and volleyball courts. Trainees are encouraged to enter various sporting social and other activities available in Lae.


The Timber and Forestry Training College is the only college in the country that offers training on most of its courses in Timber industry. We offer one year certificate course on solid wood processing. This course is conducted on site and we also provide short courses on site and off the campus upon industry and individual small scale operators’ request.   

Currently we enrolled about 40 students and this has been the number of students maintained all throughout the years of delivering this certificate course. The college has diversified its courses to all the aspects of downstream processing courses. Reviewing and restructuring of courses are underway to offer higher level courses to meet the emerging demand from the industry and housing industry.

Staff strength

TFTC has eighteen (18) professional academic staff and about 30 technical and administrative staff that support the training programs at the College.

Vision Statement

To provide effective, high standard, technical and professional training advice and assistance to Papua New Guineans and the Pacific region by promoting sustainability in domestic processing of forestry and timber products, and the sustainable forest resource management throughout the region.

Mission Statement

In aspiring to achieve this vision, the College shall pay particular attention to the human resource development and other developmental needs of Papua New Guinea and shall endeavour to achieve academic and professional excellence to meet those needs through technical and professional training, research and provision of service to the timber industry and the resource owners. The Government policies relating to forestry and timber industry, training, and other policies to drive the economy of PNG, shall guide the provision of training at the Timber and Forestry Training College.

Courses Offered

The Timber and Forestry Training College (TFTC) offers a variety of trade certificate courses for both men and women in the areas of timber harvesting, timber processing and manufacturing of added value timber products or a combination of all the subjects.

A one-year Pre-Employment Technical Training (PETT) course leading to Certificate in Solid Wood Processing, includes topics of study in tree felling, log volume calculations, timber volume calculations, basic computing, communication skills, saw-milling, saw-doctoring, wood drying and preservation, timber machining and furniture manufacturing, which at the end of the course lays the foundation for the graduates to pursue on to any higher level forestry courses or joint any timber companies for four years Apprenticeship programs in Wood Machining, Saw Doctoring and Furniture Making trades.

The courses at TFTC aim to produce professional trade graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills required to utilize Papua New Guinea’s commercial timbers into useful products such as sawn timber and mouldings for construction purposes, indoor and outdoor furniture, panels and other lesser known products for interior decorations. The courses provide hands-on experience in the use of hand tools, powered mobile and static equipment to produce the many different wood products.

A grassroots program is also available for trainees who do not meet the qualification criteria to access the mainstream courses. Short modular courses have been developed and presented through practical demonstrations and can be delivered in Pidgin language when required.

Short Modular Courses

The short modular courses are designed to assist participants who wish to acquire or improve on a particular skills over a short period of time. It can be delivered to a novice or an experienced participant who wishes to gain more knowledge and skils on a module.

Those modular courses can be delivered on sites depending on the number of participants. A minimum of five (5) participants are required to conduct an on-site training programs. These short courses are suitable for large and small sawmill business, forest resource owners, NGO’S, CBO’S and interested individuals wishing to start a small timber business.

Research and Development

To enhance capacity in Timber processing research and development (R&D), TFTC have extensively participated in research projects which will potentially impact forest and timber industry companies, and more broadly on member association who employ TFTC graduates and seek professional expertise by virtue of greater acceptance of products of higher quality products produced accordingly to international standards and specification, higher skills level which will impact on individual, companies, and notably the government shared vision of sustainable forest management.

Collaboration with R&D institutions are PNG University of Technology Forestry Department, PNG Forest Research Institute, Bulolo University College and overseas institutions such as University of Melbourne etc. 

Some of the notable reseach and development based projects are:

1. "Increasing Downstream Value Adding in PNG Forest and Wood Products Industry".    

2. "Enhancing Value Added Wood Processing in PNG".  

3. "Innovative Wood Based Products".  

4. "Enabling Community Forestry in PNG".

Consulting and Training Assessment

TFTC's ongoing and collaborative partnership with the forestry and timber companies and the mining sector, Non Government Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and small holder wood processors is to assess the training needs. As Competency analysis is one of the most important aspects of any training development program, it identifies training and competency gaps within workplace. During these times of technology changes ensures that training programs continue to align with the organizational needs. TFTC can be able to assist with auditing and training in the areas of sustainable forest management, tree falling, harvesting, chainsaw, small sawmills and maintenance, sawmilling, saw doctoring, wood treatment and preservation, wood machining and furniture manufacturing.

Certificate Course Offered at TFTC

Certificate in Technical Training in Solid Wood Processing
Course Duration:  1 year


This course aims to provide the students with basic knowledge and practical skills in log and timber processing, saw doctoring, timber drying, wood preservation and value adding of timber products.

Entry Requirement:

Through the normal OHE selection process and preference is given to Grade 12 school certificate holders (or equivalent). Students should score well in the following subjects.


Grade 12

Language and Literature: Advance English


Mathematics A


Mathematices B








Note: The following are substitue courses: Geology, Geography, Agriculture, Practical Skills Technology and Applied Natural Resource.

Subjects taught at TFTC:

The Certificate in Solid Wood Processing requires the completion of eight (8) subjects   

Subject Code





Saw Doctoring Trade



Large Sawmilling Trade



Small Sawmilling Trade



Wood Machining Trade



Wood Technology Trade



Furniture Manufacturing Trade     



Information Technology         



Timber Harvesting Trade

Extension Courses (Apprenticeship)

This extension courses in undertaken for apprentices in their second and final year of training respectively. It is a 16 weeks full time training on campus, an advance program. This training is certified by the National Apprenticeship Trade Testing Board, Department of Industrial Labour & Employment. The first block training is divided into a total of 8 weeks for a second year and the final 8 weeks for the final year. The certification of the course is awarded after successful completion of extension 2 blocks, by the National Apprenticeship Board.


Skills people who have completed a Pre-Employment Technical Training certificate course at Timber and Forestry Training College. It is not designed for flexible learning or on distance mode. School leavers will need to complete a PETT course or National Certificate III/IV to undertake this course.


Papua New Guinea's policy on wood products sector demand high quality, innovative and technologically work force to run the downstream processes which the government is keen on introducing ban in the export of raw materials. And in support of these concepts, wood products sector will need trained professionals in today's companies engaged in:

1. Manufacturing a diverse range of wood products (e.g furnitures, cabinetries and building                     components). Making products that improve the natural properties of wood (e.g, engineering wood     and composite products and bending wood).    

 2. Producing and treating lumber.

PNG products companies range from portable workabout  small mills to large multination firms.          Lumber tends to be produced by large firms, located close to the forest resource, when higher value added products tends to be manufactured in small to medium-sized establishments urban centers.     

Subject Description

SDT 01A Saw Doctoring Trade:

This course has both theoretical and practical component and is designed for students to be specialized in the sawdoctoring trade. The course will introduce basic principles and skills in manufacturing of saw blades, maintenance of cutting edge/blades, machinery and standards of sawdoctoring practices in the timber industry.

SMT 02B Sawmilling Trade:  

This course/subject has both theory and practical component and is designed for students to acquire employment in the sawmilling factory. The course will introduce to basic principles and practical knowledge and skills on how to use timber processing   sawmilling machinery from primary breakdown saws to secondary resawing options and conversion of round logs to timber products. 

SST 03C Small Sawmilling Trade:

A similar course as the conventional Sawmilling but is smaller version, it is mobile and is designed for students to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge on operating portable sawmill, setup without the aid forklifts on any environment.

WMT 04D Wood Machining Trade:

This course has both theory and practical components and is designed for students wanting to acquire employment associated with wood machining operation. The course will introduce basic principles and skills in producing sawn and plane boards. On successful completion of the course, students will be able to prepare sawn timber and produce plane boards using standard timber machining machines.

WTT 05E Wood Technology Trade:

This course has both theory and practical components and is designed for students wanting to acquire employment associated with timber yard and timber treatment plant. The course will introduce basic principles and skills in stacking/filleting and preservation of timber.  On successful completion of the course, students will be able to do stacking/filleting sawn timber, timber volume calculation and drying/seasoning and preservation of timber using timber treatment plants. 

FMT 06F Furniture Manufacturing Trade

This course has both theoretical and practical component and is designed for students who want to develop the art/passion of converting pieces of wood to furniture and other wood products. The course will introduce basic principles and skills of furniture making trade.  On successful completion of the course, students will be able to do trade drawing, project planning/designing, trade calculation and furniture making.

IT 07G Information Technology:

This course introduces the basics of computing hardware, system software and application. It is an introduction for students who are new to the computer system environment and an additional knowledge for students who are already familiar with it. On completion of this course students should know the basics of computer hardware and they will be able to use software application knowledge as a tool to professionally type out and document their assignments and projects.

THT 08H Timber Harvesting Trade:

This course has two advance courses for Forestry, one is Chainsaw and other is on Log Scaling and they are designed for the students who want to be employed as chainsaw operator and log scalar respectively. This course will introduce to basic principles of chainsaw and log scaling as conform to industry standards.

Department Service Units:

  • Administration Student & Staff Services
  • Engineering and Transportation
  • Grounds, Building & Maintenance
  • Small Engine Workshop
  • Unitech Security Services
  • Timber Sales Customer & Services
  • Mess & Catering Services
  • Stores Services


The Head of the Department
Mr. Vagi Lovo
DDL (+675) 4724029
Phone: (+675) 4724600/3886/1083
Fax: (+675) 4723586
Email: vagi.lovo@pnguot.ac.pg
Alternative Email: vagilovo@yahoo.com

General Enquiries: tftc.admin@pnguot.ac.pg