Holmesglen takes on Tassie apprentices

Government training body Skills Tasmania is endorsing the Melbourne based Holmesglen Institute as the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) providing print training in Tasmania.

This means Holmesglen will be taking on print apprentices left in limbo by TAFE SA withdrawing from providing print courses to Tasmanian students, and will be offering courses for future Tassie apprentices.

Holmesglen Institute will be providing the Certificate III in Printing and Certificate III in Print Manufacturing under the agreement, extending their service from Victoria into Tasmania. Tasmanian students are already continuing their courses with Holmesglen, but the institute expects more to come. 

Robert Black of Holmesglen Institute says, “The ability for Holmesglen Institute to deliver apprenticeship training in Tasmania is a fantastic result for Tasmania printers. They now have a public TAFE provider with on and off the job training capacity for apprentices, as well as the support of fully qualified trainers."

"This initiative has been months coming together and could not have been made possible without the absolute support of the PIAA, not only with the recent Tasmania forum but with the on-going lobbying of the key stakeholders.”

“The apprenticeship programme is for all printers in Tasmania, we are looking at servicing the whole state, north and south. There are around 20-30 apprentices from the state annually, which we hope to maintain. It is a bit down because of the uncertainty with South Australia withdrawing, businesses have not wanted to apply when they do not know what is going on. We hope once we start up we will start to see numbers increase.

[Related: Holmesglen offers to take Tas apprentices]

“Current printers with print apprentices needs to sign off with the apprentice support centre and nominate Holmesglen Institute as their preferred RTO. It is a process, once Holmesglen is nominated, we will be notified, we will look at the apprentice and find out and be able to plan what requirements they need to finish their certification. It is a process with formal requirements.

“At the moment we have 60 plus apprentices, we are hoping to expand over the next month with the help of Skills Tasmania. We have been getting support from the printing companies in Tasmania, all of the printers have been supportive as well as Printing Industries (PIAA).”

In December, the PIAA hosted the Printers Convention in Tasmania, where a major issue discussed was the training crisis. The PIAA threw support behind Holmesglen Institute, issuing pro forma letters to all printers in the state to express their support of Holmesglen Institute’s application to Skills Tasmania.

Andrew Macaulay, CEO of PIAA says, “Vocational Education and Training is in disarray in Australia, and printers have fewer viable means to attract, train and retain young people to the industry. Developing new people into printing is vital for a thriving sustainable industry, and we are thrilled that our continued emphasis in this area is producing results, albeit with a long road still ahead of us.”

“Our next area of focus will be South Australia, where we will be rallying industry to participate in the process of endorsing Holmesglen Institute to extend their training to the state”.

Black says, “We teach full printing capabilities. Our training includes theory and practical work. We support apprentices on the job and we mentor them. We meet employers’ and apprentices’ requirements.

[Related: Print apprentices slump by two thirds]

“Victorian printers have also been in support of Holmesglen, more and more apprentices are coming to us. We are a thin market, we need support of the industry and their training. We look at this as a partnership with the employer and if it is successful, it is a win win for the industry.

“We have a high end digital simulated facility, which shows all print processes. We train with theory but we also train for analytical processes, so not only operating machines, we also look at analysing and problem solving to get the best results. We look at consumables, papers, inks, foils and boards, establishing an understanding of everything in relation to printing processes.

“We also have a science lab simulator area with the latest computers and technology. We also have the Konica Minolta teaching area, which includes devices for large format and narrow web digital print and digital machines. The place has advanced technology from Konica Minolta and EFI, who have sponsored and put it all together. They have shown a commitment to the industry and I cannot speak highly enough of them.

Peter Clark, Tasmania board representative at PIAA, says, “This is fantastic news for the printing industry in Tasmania. We were at real risk of losing access to a vital training programme and I am thrilled that PIAA was able to orchestrate the successful outcome for industry”.

 Black says, “This is a great outcome for the Tasmanian printing industry, with a public Tafe being able to take on their apprentices. We hope this partnership works out well over the next month and for the future.”

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