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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities(9611)

This profile includes the following occupations:

Labourers in Mineral and Metal Processing (NOC 9611)

Labourers in this unit group perform material handling, clean-up, packaging and other elemental activities related to mineral ore and metal processing. They are employed in mineral ore and metal processing plants such as copper, lead and zinc refineries, uranium processing plants, steel mills, aluminum plants, precious metal refineries, cement processing plants, clay, glass and stone processing plants and foundries.

Labourers in Metal Fabrication (NOC 9612)

Labourers in this unit group remove excess metal and unwanted materials from metal parts, castings and other metal products and perform other labouring activities. They are employed in structural steel, boiler and platework fabrication plants, heavy machinery manufacturing plants, sheet metal fabrication shops, shipbuilding companies.

Labourers in Chemical Products Processing and Utilities (NOC 9613)

Labourers in this unit group carry out a variety of material handling, cleaning and routine general labouring activities. They are employed by petroleum and natural gas processing, pipeline and petrochemical, chemical and pharmaceutical companies, and by electrical, water and waste treatment utilities.

Labourers in Wood, Pulp and Paper Processing (NOC 9614)

Labourers in this unit group carry out a variety of general labouring and routine wood processing activities and assist pulp mill and papermaking machine operators. They are employed by pulp and paper, and paper converting companies, sawmills, planning mills, wood treatment plants, waferboard plants.

Labourers in Rubber and Plastic Products Manufacturing (NOC 9615)

Labourers in this unit group assist machine operators, transport materials and perform similar tasks.

Labourers in Textile Processing (NOC 9616)

Labourers in textile processing perform a variety of manual duties to assist in processing fibres into yarn or thread, or to assist in weaving, knitting, bleaching, dyeing or finishing textile fabrics or other textile products.

Labourers in Food, Beverage and Tobacco Processing (NOC 9617)

Labourers in this unit group perform material handling, clean-up, packaging and other elemental activities related to food, beverage and tobacco processing. They are employed in fruit and vegetable processing plants, dairies, flour mills, bakeries, sugar refineries, meat plants, breweries and other food, beverage and tobacco processing plants.

Labourers in Fish Processing (NOC 9618)

Labourers in this unit group perform clean-up, packaging, material handling and other elemental activities related to fish processing.

Other Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities (NOC 9619)

This unit group includes labourers, not elsewhere classified, who perform material handling, clean-up, packaging and other elemental activities in processing, manufacturing and utilities.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read notes from co-workers with directions for tasks to be performed on the next shift. (1)
  • Read memos posted on the bulletin board concerning changes in policies or dates of meetings, such as union meetings. (2)
  • Read instructions for operating equipment. (2)
  • May read company procedures. (2)
  • May read catalogues for information on new products and processes. (2)
  • May refer to manuals such as the forklift manual or the dangerous goods manual. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • May read labels on supplies such as paints and chemicals. (1)
  • May refer to shift schedules and work orders. (2)
  • May read shipping and receiving forms and packing slips. (2)
  • May refer to production charts. (2)
  • May refer to pictures, such as illustrations showing cuts of meat or wine making steps. (2)
  • May complete forms such as tally sheets to document information on different products. (2)
  • May enter numerical information about processes into operators' reports. (2)
  • May interpret scale drawings such as blueprints of gas lines or pipe systems. (3)
  • May read assembly drawings for machines, such as moulding machines. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • May make log book entries to record tasks completed. (1)
  • May write notes to co-workers to document problems, such as a machine breakdown and write notes to mechanics describing the circumstances of the breakdown. (1)
  • May write changes on worksheets, such as recording the substitution of materials. (1)
  • May complete work orders and invoices. (1)
  • May write memos to managers to order equipment and give reasons why it is needed. (2)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • May make small supply purchases for the company and receive change. (1)
  • May prepare invoices for customers. This may involve calculating taxes and applying discounts. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May schedule the time required to complete different tasks or determine the costs of material for a budget. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • May weigh containers full of products to ensure they meet packaging weight standards. (1)
  • May take temperature and pressure readings during the day by computer to ensure chemical products are meeting quality standards. (1)
  • May measure the level of moisture in the final processed product. For example, they may take a wet sample and weigh it, dry it in the oven for three to four hours, weigh it again and subtract the two numbers to get the moisture reading. (2)
  • May measure the density of a brew using a hydrometer and calculate the percentage of alcohol content. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • May monitor changes in temperature and pressure over a number of days to identify trends which may have an impact on product quality. (3)
  • May plot changes to readings of pH levels in order to see patterns which may indicate potential problems in water treatment. They take action, such as adding or lowering percentages of lime, based on the readings. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • May estimate the appropriate amount of material to load into a machine, such as a fabric dyer machine. (1)
  • May estimate the changes in time and temperature which will be required to correct a production fault. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • May talk to truck drivers and railroad workers to get information or arrange for pickups. (1)
  • Interact with co-workers to exchange information about tasks and to co-ordinate work. (1)
  • Interact with supervisors to receive work orders. (1)
  • May talk with customers to take orders or to answer questions about products and shipping. (1)
  • May communicate with suppliers to get more information about their products. (1)
  • Interact with supervisors to discuss conflicts. (2)
  • May participate in staff meetings to discuss improvements in processes. (2)
  • Communicate with co-workers regarding safety issues such as methods for extinguishing fires. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • May have to cope with improper labeling on boxes of chemical products which have just been packaged. They remove the faulty boxes from the line and send them for relabeling. (1)
  • May encounter process problems, such as a casting problem which has impeded the flow of molten steel. They use long rods to clear the jam, working with intense heat and time pressure. (1)
  • May find that conveyor belts shut down. They look for the source of the problem, such as broken parts or the accidental tripping of a switch. If the belts cannot be immediately restarted, they deal with products manually until repairs have been completed. (2)
  • May realize that a product is not up to standard. They meet with operators and production managers to determine how the problem can be corrected. (2)
  • May solve procedural problems which are affecting productivity. For example, if inappropriate equipment design allows rock to slip over the edge of the machine, the workers may creatively solve the problem by designing and installing metal side guards to stop the rock spillage. (3)
Decision Making
  • May decide where to store items and when to begin clean up tasks. (1)
  • May decide when to get additional materials to the production area. This decision is important since a bad decision can lead to production slowdowns because of lack of stock. (2)
  • May decide what tools are most appropriate to fix a particular type of mechanical failure. Use of the wrong tool can damage machines. (2)
  • May decide when to shut down machines which are not operating properly. (2)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities follow priorities set by supervisors and sequence their tasks within that framework. Their tasks are generally repetitive. Disruptions may occur, such as the introduction of rush orders which cause their tasks to be reprioritized. Utilities labourers often work outdoors and face additional adjustments in their daily planning because of adverse weather conditions. Job task planning and organizing is often affected by factors outside the workers' control. For example, fish processing labourers' job task planning and organizing is affected by the number of boats which come in. In days of heavy volume it is important for them to be well organized so that fish lots are not mixed up. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • May remember the processing time for a range of different products.
  • May remember measurements for a brief period of time until they can be recorded in logs.
  • May remember operating and lockout procedures for machines.
  • May remember colour coding for products and codes for computerized equipment, such as weigh scales.
  • May memorize regulations, such as fishery regulations.
Finding Information
  • Contact co-workers by phone to get information on production schedules and delays. (1)
  • Contact managers and quality control workers to obtain information about process improvements. (2)
  • Refer to the index of catalogues to find information on products. (2)
  • Look at product specifications books to get information on changes which have been made to manufacturing and product specifications. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • Use computerized equipment, such as weigh scales or labelling machines. They may also use computer-controlled equipment to monitor processes, such as casting. (1)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities mainly work independently. They sometimes work with partners to carry out tasks which require co-operation, such as lifting heavy barrels or identifying the source of a gas leak. They are part of a larger team which includes operators and managers.

Continuous Learning

Labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities learn continuously on the job. They take training in first aid and in the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). They take part in in-house training sessions to learn about new products or processes. They may also upgrade their knowledge through reading magazines related to their occupation or industry.

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