New organisation promoting print

Visual Connections, along with the Australian Sign & Graphics Association (ASGA) and Re-Engineering Australia (REA) have appointment the Australian School Industry Partnership (AusSip) as Industry Education Liaison Manager.


The newly created national role is to help increase awareness of opportunities in the industry to schools, TAFES and universities and strengthen ties between industry and schools to promote careers in the graphic arts.


Karen Goldsmith, general manager, Visual Connections, says, “What they do at the moment is provide a bridge between industry and schools. They go out to schools, do a lot of work placement, talking to kids, giving one on one advice on careers.


“The partnership adds another string to the AusSip bow in terms of knowing another industry, and talking to kids who have a creative bent or will be a good fit for industry.


“A lot of the KPIs have not been worked through yet, we will work with ASGA and Visual Connections members. There are a lot of events in education we do not have a presence in, such as career nights, that they will represent us at. Then can go along and talk to people with confidence about what is available.


“It will be a slow burn, with a settling in period, it will take time for them to get to know the sector and what is available with training options. It is no good getting kids if there are no spaces in Tafe for further training. So part of that is talking to them and learning what models are available in print and signage, and then providing that link back to schools.


“With REA we are working to link industry and schools with the competitions they run. We have members who help out with graphic design competitions that run in school. AusSip will also be working with schools to do that.


“It is brand new, it is hard to know where the need is until people start looking. But we know we are not an industry that kids know about as being a great career path.”


The longer-term goal of the appointment is to influence enrolments in print, sign and graphic apprenticeships, increase school-based apprenticeships and to create a greater awareness of the industry as a viable career alternative for students.


A spokesperson says, “AusSIP has been chosen due to its experience in working at local, national and international levels to raise educational and industry opportunities, both at strategic and operational levels. AusSIP has the demonstrated experience, skill sets, networks, capacity and passion to increase awareness and opportunities in the Print, Sign and Graphics industry nationally.”


Mitchell Mulligan, president Visual Connections welcomed the appointment “Visual Connections members are thrilled to allocate funding towards this vitally needed position. The need to promote the industry to younger entrants and to continue to build talent and career pathways has never been greater and we look forward to contributing to a stronger talent pool for our customers in the future.”


Michael Blazek, president, ASGA, says the appointment has been made with the strong affirmation of the Association’s members.  “For too long the most visible of all trades has remained invisible to parents, students and the wider education community.  It is an exciting industry, which offers a mix of skills, imagination and initiative.  We look forward to working closely with AusSIP in promoting increased industry awareness and opportunities for youth across Australia.”

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