The Printing Industries Association of Australia has met with MP Rob Stokes, alongside members of the NSW Department of Education to discuss plans to promote education and training, including a data-driven approach targeting high-demand areas.
Paul Mitchell, manager Industrial Relations, PIAA, represented the body, and says, “We wanted to make the minister aware that the printing industry is a huge employer, and to work closely with government to provide opportunities for school leavers and see if there was potential funding to assist with promoting the industry through vocational and tertiary pathways.”
One such method would involve a data-driven approach utilising Printing Industries’ understanding of growth areas in which print shops are seeking apprentices to expand the business, and speaking to students in that area about print as a career.
Mitchell explains, “Where we left it at the meeting was that we both need to work together to identify areas within the NSW economy where they may be job opportunities. Once we get the regions, we can select the schools.”
What is most important, Mitchell says, is inspiring the next generation of printers.
“As an industry body we want to show printing as cool, innovative, and relevant for many years going forward. If we can attract more schoolkids to attend events like PacPrint, they will see the amazing things being done by printers, and the cutting edge of technology.
“I was impressed with the Minister’s commitment to the sector and, more broadly, his desire to encourage vocational education training at NSW Secondary Schools. It was clear that the advocacy work we have completed over the last year is starting to raise the profile of our industry in the Government’s agenda.
“The minister genuinely wants to help. It is a win-win for both us and the Government to get more kids involved in apprenticeships, we are all focused on reducing the declining numbers.”
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