Posts Tagged ‘Future Print’

  • Future Print project overhauls local industry training

    A $4.5 million government-funded project between the Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) will overhaul Australia’s print apprentice training.

    With the aim of building a sustainable, competency based system that will underpin the development of a new and innovative training environment for Australia’s printing industry, Future Print challenges the new era of print and communication.

    A new alliance between the printing industry’s premier industry association, Printing Industries and its principal union, the AMWU, sees some of the biggest names throwing their weight behind a project to modernise the print and packaging industries’ apprenticeship system. Representatives from a broad cross-section of the industry have stepped forward to provide strategic advice and support to the project which is currently in its establishment phase.

    The Future Print Steering Committee includes some high-profile names such as Marcus Hooke from News Limited, Bruce Philips from PMP, Lindsay Hannan from Inprint and David Leach of Look Print along with Bill Healey, Printing Industries’ CEO  and the National Secretary of the AMWU’s Printing Division, Lorraine Cassin. 

    With so many the Australia’s top industry figures playing a prominent role in the training project, it is no surprise that Future Print’s goals represent nothing less than the future health and well-being of the Australian printing industry.

    According to Joan Grace (pictured), general manager of Innovation, Training and Projects at Printing Industries and leader of the Future Print Management Committee, the primary vision is to establish and foster an alternative framework for the training of apprentices with a view to preparing them for a productive and rewarding career in a rapidly changing industry.

    “Future Print is about looking at the apprenticeship system in a broad way being aware that we need to develop skills in areas such as information and communications technology (ICT) as well keeping the focus on the changing technical skills the industry needs,” says Grace. “We have two deliverables in our contract with the Government – to train 240 apprentices in a revised apprenticeship system over a two-year period, but more importantly to design a sustainable system for the future.”

    Having put in place the governance and management structures for the project the focus is now on recruiting businesses to become involved in ‘precincts’ in the targeted regions and in the packaging sector of the industry. Businesses will be signing up to pilot more workplace-focused ways of training apprentices. They will test how best to move from the current ‘time-based’ model to a ‘competency-based’ progression and completion model.

    Neal McLary, Printing Industries’ Future Print Project Manager (right) urges businesses to consider the proposition very seriously.

    “The apprenticeship system has been the backbone of training in the Industry. It has served us well. However if we are to prosper as an industry we need to modernise the current system and Future Print provides the resources for this to happen,” he says. “We have many businesses who want these changes and I urge them to make contact with me so that we can discuss the benefits of participating.”

    Businesses will operate in ‘precincts’ or groups which together will be able to support 15 new apprentices for the two years the project will operate. Each precinct will be supported by a project adviser who will have a range of roles including assisting businesses to select and appoint the best apprentices, mentoring the apprentices during their training, liaising with the Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and assisting employers through the system.

    The second project manager, Dov Hirst, from the AMWU will be overseeing the induction and management of the five project advisers who start with the project later in August.

    “We have recruited a talented team of advisers based around Australia who will support the businesses and apprentices and be the key person ensuring that the training delivered to and the progression of the apprentice is what the business and apprentice require,” says Hirst.

    Each precinct will have an RTO which will provide the training of the apprentices employed within that precinct.

    “We have briefed nine RTOs that have traditionally worked in the industry and they’ve been asked to put in an expression of interest in the project,” says Grace. “We are confident that these training providers will design a robust and sustainable training system for the future of the industry.

    Future Print is set to play a large part in the industry over the coming years. The initial project is being funded by $4.5 million government grant and is the first of two such projects that the combined forces of Printing Industries and the AMWU are working on. While the current project is focusing on the apprentices, the second project, which is still in the process of securing government funding, will focus on the employers.

    “This project seeks support to assist businesses in the industry to develop strategic plans that map their future and to up-skill the employees in these business in a broader range of skills than the apprenticeship project does,” says Grace. “Skills such as innovation, lean manufacturing and front-line management will be the focus of this second project.”

    Briefings will be held in each of the regions to be targeted by the project in the coming month. Please see the side bar for details and register your interest at the projects’ website: www.futureprint.org.au