Archive for January, 2008

  • Jobs of the week: Technical Support Post Press Mechanical

    Heidelberg is the world’s leading supplier of integrated solutions for the print media industry. 

    We are currently seeking applications from highly motivated, efficient and customer focussed people for the position of Technical Support Post Press Mechanical, Southern Region.  Reporting to the Technical Manager Solution Centre Sheetfed Melbourne and being an integral member of the Customer Support team, this role will be responsible for providing post press expertise and advice across all regions of HAN for internal and external customers.

     

    The successful candidate will have prior experience in a technical role using their superior problem solving skills to assist with the development of equipment solutions and post-installation support plans in a Printing / Graphic Arts environment. 

    A self starter using your excellent interpersonal and communication skills, you will establish and enhance strong relationships with both internal and external clients.   You have the proven ability to effectively communicate with peers and management levels and work both unsupervised and in a team environment. 

    Ideally, you will be an effective trainer in post press equipment with well developed presentation skills.  You will be organised, a good problem solver and possess a strong commitment to and appreciation of delivering high quality internal and external customer service.  Exposure to Heidelberg applications and hardware (ie: post press equipment) and standard Mechanical trade qualifications are essential, along with specific post press product knowledge of Binding, Cutting, Stitching, Folding, Gluing machines. 

    A willingness to learn new technology and a genuine desire to help others towards appropriate solutions will be favourably considered, along with an ability to manage the outcome of escalated issues.

    This is a permanent full time position, based in Melbourne.  Some national and overseas travel may be necessary.  A current drivers’ licence and pass port are required. Salary will be determined according to qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.

    Applications including, covering letter and resume, should be directed, preferably via email to Emily Porter, Human Resources, emily.porter.ext@heidelberg.com, +61 (3) 9263 3210.

    Heidelberg is an equal opportunity employer.

     

  • Social life: 31 January 2008, Yum Cha, anyone?

    Every dog has its day, but let’s not ignore the rat, either.

    Celebrating the Year of the Rat, publishing group The Galley Club are getting together to kick-start 2008 and discuss all things related to publishing, print and media.

    "In 2008 the Galley Club will be very active," said president, Michael Schulz (pictured). "There will be industry-related seminars with topics such as new media, intellectual property and environmental options as well as social events. The main event on our calendar will be the annual awards, they will be held on the 27th of June."

    The first event for 2008 is a dinner at Yum Cha restaurant, Fu Manchu in Sydney and is open to all in the industry.

    When: Wednesday 13th February, 2008

    Time: 6.30pm-9.30pm

    Venue: Fu Manchu, 249 Victoria Street Darlinghurst, NSW www.fumanchu.com.au

    Cost: $35pp + BYO (includes Banquet yum cha menu)
    RSVP to siena.paul@bigpond.com by Thursday 7th February at the latest as seats are limited.

  • Australia fuels the HP boom

    HP’s record growth in its Indigo division was strongest in the Asia Pacific and Japanese region, according to a recently released study.

    Statistics show that HP Indigo page growth worldwide increased 45 per cent over all from 2006 to 2007, with fourth-quarter page growth growing by 46 per cent year over year. In the Asia Pacific and Japan region, fourth-quarter page growth in 2007 recorded a 70 per cent increase compared to 2006, where the highest page growth occurred in Australia, Korea, China and India.

    VS Hariharan, vice president of HP’s Graphic Arts Business in Asia Pacific and Japan attributed this growth to the region’s boom in a number of new business areas. "There is no doubt that our customers in the region are experiencing the enormous business opportunities promised by HP Indigo for the production of short-run collaterals, photo specialty printing, customised output and web-to-print application," he said.

    Hariharan also pointed to the creative use of HP Indigo solutions by China Postage Company, which has been generating new revenue streams in personalised stamps-on-demand during festive occasions. He also noted he achievements of the Korean Studies Information, which has been growing its on-demand publishing business for short-run school textbooks from its virtual warehouse.

    The photo merchandise market was also strong for HP, which recorded page growth of greater than 100 per cent, spurred by a number of larger multi-press installations and competitive replacements. "Our revenues have doubled in each of the past three years, and HP has provided us the solutions we need to stay ahead of that growth," said John Perez, chief executive officer, RPI.

  • One book to rule them all: PrintNZ celebrates 100 years

    A lot of ink has gone into the New Zealand printing industry over the last 100 years. Now, the public can read all about it in a new book that details the extensive history of PrintNZ.

    Ink in our Veins: PrintNZ 1908-2008 is 96-page case-bound book that covers the biggest events, issues and personalities to have featured in New Zealand printing. Described as a one-of-a-kind publication, it is the product of many hours of research and collaboration between PrintNZ, writers, designers, printers and print finishers.

    The result, according to PrintNZ chief executive, Joan Grace, (pictured) has been well worth the effort. "This book is our story – how we came to be the industry we are today and how PrintNZ became the organisation it is today," she said.

    The official book launch commences on 26 February in Christchurch, close to where the first Federated Master Printers Association meeting was held back in 1908. To reach the widest possible audience, PrintNZ will then make its way around the country, which, Grace said, was an effort to actively promote the history with members. "We would like to encourage all of our members to attend the regional book launch functions and share the celebrations with us."

    Dates for the Centenary book tour are as follows:

    Date            Region
    26 February    Christchurch
    27 February    Dunedin
    28 February    Invercargill
    29 February    Nelson   
    3 March          Wellington
    4 March          Palmerston North
    5 March          New Plymouth
    6 March          Napier
    7 March          Tauranga
    10 March        Hamilton
    11 March        Auckland
    12 March        Whangarei

  • GEON gives city slickers what they want

    GEON has its sights set on the city, with the recent opening of a digital print centre in Melbourne’s Docklands.

    GEON Digital, which opened in December 2007, is part of GEON’s ongoing plan to cater for city-based businesses requiring digital services as part of a "one-stop-shop offering".

    "Bigger printing sites tend to be geographically remote from business and financial centres, so by having these sites it makes it very convenient for customers to come and visit, to touch and feel the actual operation," said chief executive, Gordon Towell.

    Towell said that when considering the roll-out of digital centres like that in Docklands, GEON decided upon the method of installing a satellite operation with its own identity that was also able to feed off the mothership Mount Waverley store.

    "The whole Docklands site is connected into Mount Waverely seamlessly," he said. "It’s a real package; having a local site gives it additional value."

    General manager, Gary MacKellin, said that the store was GEON’s attempt to "launch into digital print in a big way with the latest technology" which includes an Indigo 5500, Xerox 8000 and a large format Agfa :Anapurna XL2 .

    "We went for what we believed to be the best combination of colour, black and white and wide format that we could find in the marketplace," Towell said. Since opening its doors, MacKellin notes that the store has attracted a lot of new business from the surrounding area.

    Victoria isn’t the first state in Australia, to have a GEON digital print store; Queensland was chosen last year. But, according to Towell, Victoria will not be the last. "We have plans for more to come," he said.

  • Quebecor World UK enters administration

    The run of bad luck continues for Quebecor World after its UK plant is placed under administration.

    The news comes after Quebecor World in Canada and the United States recently filed to obtain protection from creditors. However, the company issued a statement saying that the two incidents were isolated from one another.

    "The decision is not related to Quebecor World’s filing for credit protection in the United States and Canada and has no impact on its other European facilities," the statement said.

    The UK plant, based in Corby, is staffed by 290 employees and specialises in magazines and marketing material. In its statement, the company claimed that a number of web offset investments and the loss of a major contract three years ago had all contributed to the current predicament.

    "Quebecor World has made significant investments in this web offset facility in recent years. These investments, combined with important employee and management contributions, were designed to turn around this business but these efforts have been unsuccessful," the statement said.

    "Given the overcapacity in the UK printing industry, challenging market conditions and reduced demand for print in the UK market, the company does not believe the situation can be improved without further investment and significant restructuring."

  • Energi Print swims up to Central Coast

    Victorian company Energi Print goes national with the purchase of Central Coast Printing.

    The West Gosford company was reported as entering administration by Print 21 last week, at which stage the buyer had not been finalised. Its sale to Energi Print spells a happy ending for most of the staff, who will resume their roles as of 1 February.

    "Energi Print’s Melbourne plant employs more than 70 people and we intend to re-employ most of the existing Gosford-based staff," said Haydn Breheny, managing director of Energi Print.

    Breheny and fellow managing director Graeme Lidgerwood said that they were looking to expand outside of Victoria as a lot of the business is generated from NSW, and this purchase marked the start of exciting times for the company.

    "We heard that Central Coast Printing was in receivership and they have a good name. Central Coast Printing was a respected family-run business and family affairs will continue as previous owner, Noel Vidler, his wife Anne and daughter Alison have all been employed by Energi Print," Breheny said.

    As part of the sale, Central Coast Printing will now be re-branded Energi Print NSW. Breheny said that this decision would allow the group to better service its New South Wales-based customers and established a wider business throughout the Central Coast and perhaps beyond.

    "It’s the start of our expansion; we’ll see how things go from here," Breheny said.

  • Jobs of the week: Printer

    Almost too good to be true!

    It is a well known fact that Port Douglas is an iconic place, boasting one of the best lifestyles in Australia.

    A little known fact is that there is a printing business in this great town that uses state-of-the-art Heidelberg equipment to service our 4 regional branches, and with 42 people on the team, they all enjoy the lifestyle of this great tropical region.

    We have a vacancy for a printer to join three other professionals, on a rotating 3 day 12 ½ hour shift basis. Yes, that’s right, 4 days a week off to enjoy the local area. If you enjoy fishing or diving, this must rate as the most desirable spot in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is right on our doorstep!

    Our press is a Heidelberg SM 74 5 colour DI, all the accessories on press and in the press room, such as CP2000 console, auto wash up and a pile turner, really make this an easy job! We do not do massive runs, typically you would be doing 10 to 14 jobs a day, no boredom here; it is a rewarding position in a fully air-conditioned environment.

    We are prepared to offer a skill upgrade to the right person if you do not have a background in 4 or 5 colour machines.

    Think about these realities

    • Live so close to work that you could walk; no more city traffic to fight.

    • The cost of living is cheaper

    • Great place to bring up your kids, so much for them to do and no crime to worry about

    • Be the envy of your mates, living and working in paradise

    • More time to actually enjoy life than in a city.

    We offer

    • A competitive remuneration

    • A family company atmosphere, we are privately owned

    • The lifestyle’ envied by everyone

    • A strong team environment focused on quality and quick delivery.

    Email resume to Stephen Dennis stephen@lotsaprinting.com.au or phone 07 4099 3366 or Mobile 0439 674 252

    Visit our website – www.lotsaprinting.com.au – for more information

    Go on, you owe it to yourself to enjoy your life!

  • Jobs of the week: Technical Sales Representative

    Agfa-Gevaert Limited is a subsidiary of Europe’s largest manufacturer of Graphics Imaging products and a world leader in Imaging Technology.  We seek a high calibre Sales Professional to join our NSW team, selling and supporting consumable products, software and capital equipment into the printing/graphics industry to existing and new clients.

    As a Technical Sales Representative, you’ll have the autonomy to plan, execute and manage your weekly activities.  Handling a broad product and solutions portfolio within the NSW sales territory, you will possess the following attributes:

    • Proven strong track record in sales of high value systems/capital equipment to medium to large printers and prepress houses;

    • Strong customer focus including ability to develop and manage client relationships

    • Highly motivated and results orientated

    • Proven ability to work effectively within a sales team environment

    • Excellent communication and organisational skills

    • Trade and/or tertiary qualifications in technical and/or sales disciplines will be highly regarded

    • Relevant product training will be provided to the successful candidate.

    You will be rewarded with a career with a well respected company, friendly culture and a competitive remuneration package incl. vehicle.

    If this position appeals to you, please apply in writing to the Recruitment Coordinator, Agfa Graphics HR Dept., Agfa-Gevaert Limited, PO Box 150, Burwood, Vic 3125 or email gs.jobs.au@agfa.com

     

  • Jobs of the week: Membership Sales Officer

    About Us
    The Graphic Arts Services Association of Australia (www.gasaa.asn.au), an established and well-known membership body in the design and print industry with enormous untapped potential, is seeking an energetic sales orientated person to close membership interest.

    With our low cost membership fees, a prospect database of over 10,000 industry contacts and hundreds of “warm” leads you can be signing up members from day one. The graphic communications industry is experiencing rapid change and joining our dynamic association to receive tangible benefits is not a hard sell for the right person.

    Is this you!
    You should be energetic and engaging, with determination and ability to close sales. Many of your leads will be familiar with our organisation and just need follow-up. You should be persistent, organised and thorough in your approach, demonstrating a respectful and professional manner.  You will routinely be called on to visit design and print premises so presentation will be important. You should have strong, clear and concise telephone and face-to-face communication skills. Experience with general office software (MS Word, Access, Excel) is essential.

    Work will be a mix of time in our near Sydney CBD office with our small team of dedicated association staff, and at other times independently from home or calling on prospects. If your background is in sales, market research, customer service, or if you have worked with membership based organisation, this position is perfectly aligned to your experience.

    Previous experience in working with associations and/or the design/print industry would be of advantage.

    Please send your CV, and a short statement on your interest and capabilities to:garry@gasaa.asn.au do not delay! Please email all queries in the first instance.

    Garry Knespal
    Graphic Arts Services Association of Australia
    PO Box 1281, Bondi Junction  NSW  1355
    Ph: 02 9386 1595 or 1300 131 787
    email garry@gasaa.asn.au
    www.gasaa.asn.au

     

  • Jobs of the week: Mac Operator – Printing Industry

    We are a busy Award winning Digital Offset Printing House using the very latest in printing technology.

    You would be expected to take Graphic Designer’s digital artwork and prepare it ready for printing.

    You’ll have a high level of skill in graphic design software products, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Freehand and so on. Further you must have had previous experience in a simular position with-in the printing industry.

    It is most important to be able to have the ability to set up a job for print, including imposing pages and identifying problems and making the necessary corrections.

    This role requires knowledge of print production issues such as colour reproduction theory, trapping and ink density. Knowledge of Digital Printing would be helpful.

    This is a position suited to a self-starter who can work quickly with a busy team of other specialists in good working conditions located at Flinders Park about 10 minutes from the City.

    Apply in writing: The Manager – Digi we doo – 242 Grange Road, Flinders Park SA 5025or email: mikemin@bigpond.net.au; www.digiwedoo.com.au

     

     

  • Jobs of the week: Estimator/Planner

    LOCATION: Melbourne

    PRIMARY OBJECTIVES

    • To ensure the efficient and effective planning, scheduling and co-ordination of outside work.

    • Technical skills and quality

    • Ensure that all work is undertaken in a manner that delivers the most productive and high quality outcomes. This will be achieved by effective use of problem solving skills; consistent and accurate work outcomes, sound technical judgement and ability to follow procedures.

    • Planning and organisation

    • Ensure that all work is conducted in a way that utilises resources, capital and time in the most effective, efficient, and productive manner so that business targets and goals are achieved.

    • Adherence to policies, processes and work procedures

    • Ensure that all policies, procedures and legislative requirements are adhered to by the position.

    • Work ethic, standards and relationships

    • Ensure that personal approach and attitude to work tasks and work relationships are capable of contributing to a highly productive, flexible, reliable, customer focussed and harmonious working environment.

    PRINCIPAL DUTIES / ACCOUNTABILITIES

    1. Prepare detailed estimates, and tender submissions from the companies MIS system.

    2. Maintain excellent client, trade and supplier relationships

    3. Review quote specifications to maximise efficiency and reduce costs without compromising quality.

    4. Review work procedures to ensure quality of work is maintained in the most effective and efficient manner.

    5. To meet the performance targets and objectives outline in a performance plan.

    6. Negotiate with suppliers as required to ensure the best possible prices and lead times are obtained on all quotes and tenders.

    7. Ensure job planning, preparation of job bags and job costing is completed in a timely and effective manner.

    8. Maintain excellent client, trade and supplier relationships by :

    9. Meeting expectations

    10. Providing feedback and advise

    11. Ensuring deadlines are met

    12. Answering phone and other enquiries in a timely manner.

    13. Assist in team solving and decision making, follow up on problems and decisions.

    14. Determines the supply of raw materials.

    15. Directs production schedule to Digital Print Manager.

    16. Assist in the day-to-day activities of the Digital Print Department to achieve daily delivery requirements by adopting a flexible work ethic.

    17. Assist in invoicing when required

    18. Attend daily WIP meetings and maintain records of production levels and monitors progress against plans.

    19. Attends to disruptions in the production process and recommends appropriate action to relevant personnel.

    20. Controls load factors to ensure maximum usage of available capacity and effective use of labour, tools and equipment.

    21. Ensure proper coordination of production operations with the requirements of finished products and the needs for material and labour.

    22. Ensure all planning and estimating activities comply with relevant Acts, and legal demands and ethical standards.

    23. To observe, and adhere to, OH&S policies and procedures and to ensure that work practices and work area are conducted and maintained in a safe manner at all times with the understanding of:

    Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004    Section 25 – Duties of Employees:

    • Take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety

    • Take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons who may be affected by your acts or omissions at work.

    • Co-operate with his or her employer with respect to comply with the OH&S Act.

    • While at work, an employee must not intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided at the workplace in the interest of health, safety or welfare.

    • Hearing protection must be worn at all times in nominated designated areas

     

    ATTRIBUTES

    • This position requires the person to have acquired the following skill set;

    • An ability to liaise with customers

    • Working knowledge of PRISM MIS, Microsoft- outlook, excel and word.

    • A knowledge and understanding of Occupational Health & Safety guidelines

    • A comprehensive knowledge of complete printing processes with a proven ability to plan, organise and schedule workflow.

    • Team player with peer group acceptance.

    • Commitment to act within Company policy and guidelines

    • A desire to succeed.

    • A sense of urgency

    • Commitment to the continuous improvement of both the business and personal self-development.

  • Jobs of the week: Digital Printing Operator

    LOCATION: VIctoria

    PRIMARY OBJECTIVES

    • To ensure the efficient and effective production of jobs in the Digital Printing Department.

    • Technical skills and quality

    • Ensure that all work is undertaken in a manner that delivers the most productive and high quality outcomes. This will be achieved by effective use of problem solving skills; consistent and accurate work outcomes, sound technical judgement and ability to follow procedures.

    • Planning and organisation

    • Ensure that all work is conducted in a way that utilises resources, capital and time in the most effective, efficient, and productive manner so that business targets and goals are achieved.

    • Adherence to policies, processes and work procedures

    • Ensure that all policies, procedures and legislative requirements are adhered to by the position.

    • Work ethic, standards and relationships

    • Ensure that personal approach and attitude to work tasks and work relationships are capable of contributing to a highly productive, flexible, reliable, customer focussed and harmonious working environment.

    PRINCIPAL DUTIES / ACCOUNTABILITIES

    The primary responsibility of this position is the operation of the Digital Presses, however, the position requires the operator to adopt a flexible working approach and perform other duties within the Digital Printing Department as and when required.

    1. To follow verbal and written works instructions.

    2. Operating the Digital Printing presses as requested by the Production Manager.

    3. Follow quality control procedures

    4. Update running sheet at the end of the shift with clear instructions

    5. Trim paper/finished job as required or requested.

    6. Collate, finish and package jobs as required or requested.

    7. Perform regular maintenance on Digital presses to ensure that equipment is kept in good working order.

    8. Report any machine malfunctions or breakdowns direct to the Production Manager or Team Leaders in a timely and efficient manner.

    9. Report any concerns over job quality to the Production Manager or Team Leaders in a timely and efficient manner. 

    10. To maintain a clean and tidy working environment.

    11. Assist in the day-to-day activities of the Digital Printing Department to achieve daily delivery requirements by adopting a flexible work ethic.

    12. Assisting and training of employees when required or requested.

    13. Application of OH&S practices and environmental protection procedures.


    ATTRIBUTES

    This position requires a person with the following attributes:

    • Have a good understanding of Digital Printing Presses, Guillotine and other finishing equipment within the Digital Printing department.

    • A working knowledge of the Digital printing and finishing process.

    • Team player.

    • Commitment to act within Company policy and guidelines

    • A desire to succeed.

    • A sense of urgency.

    • A flexible approach to duties.

    • Commitment to the continuous improvement of both the business and personal self-development.

  • Australian Tenders of the Week, 5 February 2008

     

    ATM ID      T0708/05
    Agency: National Museum of Australia
    Category: 90141503 – Exhibitions
    Close Date & Time: 12-Feb-2008 3:00 pm (ACT Local time)
    Publish Date: 6-Dec-2007
    Location:  ACT, NSW, VIC, SA, WA, QLD, NT, TAS
    ATM Type:  Request for Tender

    Description:
    The National Museum of Australia is seeking tender responses for the supply of exhibition related services to the Museum in the form of an exhibition and program services panel.

    The services to be provided by members of the panel include exhibition design, including developing design concepts and provision of detailed design documentation for two-and-three dimensional exhibition content, graphic design and exhibition furniture and showcase fabrication for a range of temporary, touring and permanent gallery exhibitions developed by the National Museum of Australia.

    Estimated Value     From $50,000.00 to $400,000.00

    Contact Officer: Rebecca Coronel

    Phone Number: 02 6208 5286
    Mobile Number: 0419 419 346
    Fax Number: 02 6208 5148
    Email Address: exhibitionstender@nma.gov.au

    ______________________________________________________

    ATM ID      RFQ-2680014
    Agency:  Department of Defence – DSG
    Category:  14110000 – Paper products
    Close Date & Time:  15-Feb-2008 12:00 pm (ACT Local time)
    Publish Date: 24-Jan-2008
    Location:  VIC, Melbourne
    ATM Type     Request for Tender

    Description    
    Qty 1,500 PD – 7530/661020093 Form, Printed – PM342, Medical And Dental History.

    Contact Person: All Enquiries – (NO DOCUMENTATION REQUESTS).

    Phone Number: (03) 9282 5484
    Fax Number: (03) 9282 4555
    Email Address:  gina.gauci@defence.gov.au

     

  • Media still in the dark over Fairfax printers

    Could Fairfax Media be considering selling its printing plant portfolio, or perhaps even be joining forces with arch rival News Limited? These are just a few of the mind-boggling rumours being thrown about in the AFR.

    The business paper reported that Fairfax Media is considering three options for its printing plant, the first being to sell it in order to repay debt. But this action was soon dismissed by the paper: "It appears that Fairfax … would not be likely to take such a course, perhaps not unless there emerged a critical need for the funds, such as a compelling acquisition."

    If a straight sale is out of the question, then so too is a sale and leaseback structure, which, according to the paper, would only result in "shuffling an interest expense to a lease payment."

    Another rumour is that News Limit would exchange its regional Queensland publications, such as The Gold Coast Bulletin for the Fairfax business titles, the AFR and BRW Magazine. This, however, is likely to be rumour or not even that, concluded the paper: "This is even more unlikely than selling the printing plants – Fairfax has no intention of selling the AFR, and hasn’t any time during the past two decades when would-be raiders have approached the group."

    If all of this sounds a little confusing then blame the AFR, not us.

  • LithoTechnics and Prism integrate in new deal

    The future of printing is all about integration, according to LithoTechnics, the developer of Metrix, which hopes to leverage on this by signing a distribution agreement with Prism Group Holdings.

    The agreement sees Prism selling and supporting all of Metrix’s product line worldwide, on both Mac OS X and Windows platforms. Kathy Mitchell, Australasian general manager for Prism, said that the company’s long-time relationship with Rohan Holt of LithoTechnics, contributed to the deal.

    "[We] have always been impressed with the sophistication of his products and passion for the industry," she said.

    "This agreement will allow Prism to deliver an expanded integrated solution to our mutual clients that builds upon the standard JDF integration. The printing industry is asking for these simple sophisticated tools that deliver a new level of automation. The agreement … will allow us to continue to be at the leading edge of production automation."

    Rohan Holt, (pictured) president of LithoTechnics, agreed that the synergies between both groups placed them in a strong position for the future. "It makes sense for us to collaborate technology-wise and push the levels of integration," he said.

    "Now, we can take it to whole new levels and ten years from now, printers will be very different."

  • Young guns fire away: Print 21 magazine article

    They’re a funny bunch this Generation Y – demanding and driven, always after more. Not quite the stuff that printers are made of. Or is it? Mitchell Jordan investigates.

    This is Generation Y in a nutshell: they are ambitious, influential, socially aware; they want everything and they want it all right now. It sounds more like the average print customer rather than a printer.

    But when it comes to choosing a career, don’t rule out printing completely. Mark McCrindle, a social researcher specialising in Generation Y, believes that any profession involving technology will always have an appeal to youth.

    "We’re talking about a generation who have grown up in a technological world," he explains. "Printing connects well with the visual arts, marketing and advertising; all areas which are key to Generation Y."

    New kids on the block
    21-year-old Ben Paynter (pictured below) wasn’t sure what he wanted to do when he finished Year 12. Dreams of being a rockstar were high up there on the wish list, but a career as a printer was never on the radar, until by happy accident, Paynter went from delivering pizza to starting an apprenticeship with Offset Alpine.

    "My father was a printer for most of his life at Offset Alpine and the company offered me some work experience in different areas," he says. "I tried IT and prepress but found printing the most enjoyable."

    When the company mentioned an apprenticeship to Paynter, there seemed nothing left to loose: printing beat pizza and left him with enough time to continue playing music if he felt like it.

    In the four years that he’s been with the company, Paynter has risen from the ranks of apprentice through to production controller, complete with a number of awards including the NSW LIA Graduate of the Year 2007.

    He admits that printing is "not a glamorous-looking job" and "something you grow to like", but is still worth the effort. "Once you learn the history of printing you appreciate the trade much more," Paynter says.

    Paynter isn’t the only one who has found satisfaction through printing. 22-year-old Aaron Milner and 25-year-old Sarah Thomas are just two examples of the younger generation blowing out the cobwebs of an industry commonly associated with old age. Ironically, the three all share a similar story of entering their trades unintentionally.

    After trying a number of different courses at both university and TAFE, an interest in graphic arts took Thomas on an apprenticeship in prepress at Collotype Labels, where she has remained for four-and-a-half years.

    "I never would have imagined that I’d be working in printing," admits Thomas, now a graphic reproducer. "I never even knew that printing existed."

    For her, the discovery has been life changing. "It’s a different industry to any other that I’ve worked in," she says. "There’s a lot of jovialness and fun; it’s like a big family where everyone knows you."

    As a young female, Thomas (pictured) has well and truly made her mark in an industry that has long been considered to be a man’s world, taking out this year’s GAMAA-LIA National Graduate Scholarship. While she admits the number of men in printing far outweighs the women, Thomas has not noticed any discrimination or negative attitudes towards females.

    "Printing is definitely male-dominated," she says. "When I go to conferences or technical sessions there are only ever about three ladies in the room. But I don’t feel like I get treated any differently; I’m still respected."

    A family affair
    Milner, a fourth-year printing apprentice at Lilyfield Printing, first had his sights set on being a policeman, only to change his mind at the eleventh hour. "I got the marks I needed to study policing, but after a few people suggested what it could be like I decided that it really didn’t suit me," he says.

    Like Paynter, Milner took on an apprenticeship because of his father’s background as a printer. "I got my apprenticeship because my dad knew some people and I think that’s how most people get started in this industry," he says.

    Paynter agrees with this claim. "If my father wasn’t around I’d have no idea what printing was," he observes.

    "In schools they promote all sorts of trades like plumbing and mechanics, but not many people know that there’s printing out there or even what it’s like. I think this is a real shame because it’s a good industry to get into and we need the numbers."

    With this lack of awareness comes a number of misconceptions about what the trade involves, all of which are obvious detractors to young people deciding on a career.

    "A lot of my mates think printing is operating photocopying machines," Paynter says sardonically.

    Having worked in a variety of jobs, Thomas can testify that printing is in fact an innovative environment to work in. "There’s definitely more modern industries out there, but I think printing is still modern," she says. "We have to keep up with the latest software and innovations."

    Proving that the kids today really aren’t the slovenly lot people would like to think, Milner says that he enjoys the dedication and attention to detail that his job involves.

    "Printing can look a bit complicated, but once you know what’s going on then you can enjoy the jobs that you print," he says. "I also like the responsibility that the different jobs involve."

    Their respective careers have made all three more aware of just how print-orientated our society is. Rather than keeping up with the latest fashion labels, Thomas now has her eyes firmly fixed on those printed on bottles instead. Ask Paynter what is the best part of being a printer and he wastes no time in boasting: "Going into the newsagency, pointing to a copy of FHM magazine and saying ‘I printed that.’"

    Socialising and networking are also high on the agenda for Generation Y and, unlike policing or journalism, printing allows for a lifestyle of long weekends and extended breaks – all courtesy of 12-hour shifts.

    "Printing is rewarding in terms of both the money it can lead to and the lifestyle," Milner (pictured) says.

    "It’s the type of industry where people stick around so you get the chance to make good friends," Thomas adds. "We all socialise a lot out of work."

    Rage against the machine
    That said, Milner also points out that 12 hours a day is a long time to be working and can take a lot of patience and stamina. "Sometimes the 12-hour shifts have their downsides," he says. "Having four days off a week is good, but you don’t always feel like doing 12 hours. You’ve got to push yourself through it."

    If there’s one thing Generation Y love to do it’s communicate: from SMS-ing, Facebooking and partying, this is not a generation that likes to isolate itself. As far as printing goes, this can prove problematic.

    "It’s just you and the machine all day and sometimes you want a bit more interaction with others," Milner confides. "Not all workers are people persons so it suits them, but I couldn’t see myself doing that for forty years."

    Back to the future
    Paynter, Thomas and Milner all recommend the industry to other youths, and through the power of word-of-mouth have inducted both family members and friends into the profession.

    "I’d definitely encourage more young people to work in the industry," Paynter says. "Whenever there’s jobs advertised on our intranet I always ask people I know if they’re looking for a job."

    The trio each have an enviable amount of awards behind them, and a promising future ahead. But is this enough to keep them onboard? Job-changing is, after all, a defining trait of Generation Y, who are known to go off in different directions on a whim.

    "That’s a tough question to ask," Paynter admits. "At the moment I will stay in printing – it’s not only well paid but also a good career. The only thing I would consider is maybe some short courses for my hobbies."

    Millner and Thomas don’t know whether they will always stay confined to careers in printing and prepress, but they do see themselves firmly rooted in the industry for the long haul.

    "I’d like to move up without leaving behind printing completely," Millner says. "I would ideally like to end up in management. That’s one of the positives about this industry; it can lead to so many different things."