Posts Tagged ‘RMIT’

  • Holmesglen print training centre edges closer to reality

    A submission from the TAFE college to Peter Hall, Victorian Skills Minister opens the way for a revival of off-site print training in the state.

    Bruce McKenzie, CEO, has provided a full proposal to the Victorian Government to establish a National Printing and Graphic Communications Centre of Excellence, at Holmesglen Moorabbin Campus. The proposal reinforces the college’s belief in the viability of an established print training facility where apprentices can come to receive out of work training.

    The proposal details costs for the reestablishment of a dedicated facility following the shock closure of RMIT’s long established state of the art print and communication campus at Brunswick.

    According to Roy Aldrich, leader of Printing Industries action committee, (pictured) the proposal has every chance of success. “I’m confident the Minister will look favourably on the proposal. It is vital we have a proper training facility for our young apprentices,” he said.

    He points out that the current state of affairs has left many printing companies with existing and new apprentices without proper training that was previously provided by RMIT University.

    “The Minister has acknowledged that the important print, manufacturing and communication industry needs the re-establishment of a new apprenticeship training facility to provide the future workforce with adequate skills and technology expertise in an ever changing technological era,” he said.

    Bill Healey, CEO of Printing Industries, who paid tribute to the efforts of the action committee to keep the proposal on track, endorses the move towards a new print training set up. “The action committee are doing good work on behalf of the industry. We’ll have to wait and see how the Minister responds,” he said.

    Holmesglen TAFE is one of Australia’s largest with a number of campuses. Under the proposal the Holmesglen Moorabbin TAFE will feature a new building with state of the art equipment for hands-on training for the apprenticeship courses, interfaced with prepress, design, up skilling, management and many other industry related training modules.

    “The whole of the Victorian printing and graphic communications Industry, hand in hand with the Holmesglen TAFE, look forward to the approval by the Minister, to proceed with this very important move to future proof this magnificent, important Victorian manufacturing industry,”’ said Aldrich.


  • PIAA pushes for talks with VIC government over RMIT

    Printing Industries is pushing for an urgent meeting with the Victorian Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall, on his return to Melbourne next week, calling on the government to implement its commitment to finding an acceptable solution to the industry training crisis.

    Printing Industries CEO, Bill Healey (pictured), says that RMIT University’s move to sell its print training courses to private trainer, CLB, was undertaken too hastily, without consideration for the industry, and he is concerned for the quality of training in Victoria and Tasmania as a result of the sale.

    “Victorian and Tasmanian companies are outraged at the decision by RMIT to exit printing apprenticeship training and sell its assets to a private training provider without first consulting the industry,” says Healey.

    “We believe RMIT acted with undue haste. We are disappointed that they chose not to work with the industry to identify a solution recognising the time and investment that had been made by industry stakeholders in the operations of the International Centre of Graphic Technology (ICGT) over many years.

    “But our biggest concern is the question mark that now hangs over the future of quality training for apprentices in Victoria and Tasmania,” he says.

    Healey, however, acknowledges that some changes may be required to the existing training model to ensure that the printing industry would have access to a skilled workforce for its immediate and future need, but he remains concerned that fully on–the-job training as advocated under the CLB deal will provide a narrow set of skills.

    “We need to look at ways of ensuring apprentices have an opportunity to mix with peers outside their workplace and have access to the broad range of equipment that will enable them to become well rounded trades people,” he says. “That’s why it’s essential that the industry is involved in managing its training agenda to meet its needs for its future and why so many people are feeling totally let down by RMIT.”

    According to Healey, Printing Industries had consulted with CLB but to date had not had a response from the Vice Chancellor of RMIT.

    “At the top of our agenda with the Minister along with our assertion that an industry controlled Registered Training Organisation (RTO) similar to successful operating overseas models will be necessary to provide access to quality training for all companies,” says Healey.

    Printing Industries has already started implementing the $1.4 million Federal Government funded Printing Industry Apprenticeship Advisory and Mentoring Program to support apprentices, increase their retention rates of current apprentices and encourage new entrants.

    “We also have an application pending for a grant under the Accelerated Apprenticeship program to look at ways of making apprenticeships more responsive to our changing workplace,” says Healey. “We see training as vital to the development of the printing industry and hope that our vision is shared by the Victorian Government and all other stakeholders.”

  • Vic printing industry action group ‘betrayed’ by RMIT

    Two weeks to meet $1million demand by the college for equipment and learning assessment material in order for the industry to keep apprentice training alive.

    An action group of concerned industry professionals including Roy Aldrich, Eastern Studios, Trevor Hone, Avon Graphics, Bob Yeates, National President of Country Press,  Ron Paterson Regional Manager Victoria, and Bill Healey C.E.O. of Printing Industries were in urgent consultation with the Victorian Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall, when they claim RMIT betrayed them by privatising the printing apprentice programme.

    The group met with RMIT on several occasions in an endeavour to let Printing Industries take over the management and instruction rights of RMIT Printing School.  The college maintains it wants the purpose built printing school  at Brunswick to house design students.

    According to Aldrich, RMIT’s take it or leave it offer to the group was … $350,000 for equipment plus $70,000 to remove the equipment and $8,000 per unit of competency for learning and assessment material.  There are approximately 8 units of competency per Certificate III Apprenticeship.

    The group maintains they are in continuing positive negotiations with the Minister who is assisting the industry to overcome the shock exit of RMIT Print from industry training.

    A furious Aldrich says the group, with other printing industry advisors, acted as an advisory council to the college. An assurance was given that they would be able to bid to take over the training. They were meeting with the Minister when they heard the college had sold its International Centre of Graphic Technology (ICGT) learning and assessment material, and awarded the contract for industry training to CLB Training & Development.

    “We haven’t given upon this. I’m very angry at the way this has turned out,” said Aldrich, who has been deeply engaged with industry training in Melbourne for decades. “We met with RMIT and told them that if they didn’t want to do it [apprentice training] then we would. They refused to let us have the building, which was built specifically for industry training and gave us two weeks to raise $1million to take over the equipment. That’s an impossible short deadline,” he said.

    He claims the industry is in uproar about the decision and vowed to continue to fight. The apprentice scheme will continue for at least 18months while the students enrolled complete the course. No new apprentices will be enrolled at RMIT Printing from July 1, 2012.

    “It is unbelievable. We’re very disappointed at the way RMIT handled the whole thing,” he said.

    He is calling for industry support to rally against the decision and for the industry to regain control of its own training. “We have the support and backing of Bill Healey C.E.O of Printing Industries as well as the whole of the printing industry and we are determined to make a fight of it,” he said.

    “The industry is determined with the help of the Minister to take back 60 years of apprentice training and successfully make the print school the best in Australia and the southern hemisphere.  We must protect our industry from such a blatant disregard of this important backbone of the industry.”




  • RMIT dumps print training – printing industry outrage

    RMIT University will close the book on its International Centre of Graphic Technology (ICGT) centre in 18 months as falling apprenticeship numbers force its hand. The Printing Industries Association of Australia said it was “shocked and dismayed.

    David Currie, CEO of Currie Group and a long-term supporter of the Institute and of printing training around the nation, also said he was, “Mortified and shattered as a result.” Currie Group has provided millions of dollars in equipment and support and is at a loss as to why the decision was taken.

    The shock announcement follows a series of 2011 investments that saw ICGT’s press hall at RMIT’s Brunswick campus install a purpose-built climate controlled pre-press facility. Currie Group alone has contributed two Shinohara offset presses, a HP Indigo 5000 digital engine along with a state-of-the-art Horizon finishing line.

    The training centre is also nearly a year into a five-year agreement signed with Heidelberg for a 2006 model Speedmaster SM 52-8-P, an installation that marked the first time print apprentices has access to an eight-colour perfector press. RMIT has invested more than $1 million in the past three years into the ICGT.

    According to John Barnes, director of TAFE at RMIT, the university is already in consultation with industry stakeholders to ensure a niche-training organisation steps up to serve their requirements. “We shall be working with every apprentice and their employers to ensure that all current training programs are completed. All existing programs will be taught until completion,” he said.

    “Unfortunately, the printing industry has been experiencing long-term difficulties in sourcing apprentices. In turn, this has cut numbers at the ICGT to the point where its activities are no longer viable. The education industry is changing and we at RMIT are putting our efforts into growth areas which reflect our strengths as a global university of technology and design – areas of high growth and high demand.”

    An “extremely disappointed” Bill Healey, CEO of Printing Industries, believes it is imperative for the industry to act quickly and collectively to remedy the situation.

    “While the announcement is extremely disappointing we must be proactive in finding a solution, not just for Victoria and Tasmania, but for the industry nationally.

    “Apprenticeship numbers have been declining over many years and all publically funded training providers have been experiencing difficulties in justifying stand-alone training organisations in their states. Industry needs to step in and take control of its own destiny and look to creating a national approach to apprenticeship training,” he said.

    Healey said the PIAA has been exploring the feasibility of establishing a single national training arrangement to ensure the needs of the printing industry continued to be met into the future. “Such an arrangement would focus on improved efficiency and better promotion of a nationally consistent training pathway for apprentices.

    “We are currently preparing an application for funding to look at the future of apprenticeships, in conjunction with the Australian Metal Workers Union. Given the RMIT announcement, this will need to be fast-tracked,” said Healey.

    He called on the Victorian Government to ensure ongoing funding is provided to enable the industry to meet its skill requirements. “We believe this is essential if our members are to retain a place in the multi-channel communication world of the future,” he said.

    Printing Industries will be meeting with RMIT as matter of urgency to ensure apprentice training in Victoria and Tasmania continues for existing and new apprentices during the 18 month RMIT wind-up period.

    Ron Patterson, state manager for Printing Industries Victoria and Tasmania, is disappointed by the announcement after working with RMIT over a number of years to develop a new approach to industry training

    “A great many people have been working to create a better system for our apprentices and a modern, relevant curriculum to attract more apprentices into our technologically driven industry, so RMITs decision to bail out is not welcomed.”

    “However it won’t deter us and I am confident that any consolidation of training agendas would be welcomed by suppliers who are regularly faced with having to provide expensive equipment to multiple sites. Consolidation could lead to a better allocation of costly resources and to closer co-operation with industry. We must focus on achieving this as quickly as possible,” said Patterson. ”