SA apprentice left behind

One 18 year old South Australian apprentice has been without any way of getting their print education since the start of the year, with Hansen Design and Print owner Rob Hansen having exhausted all avenues.

With seven Tafe centres being closed in the recent South Australian budget, and an additional $109m being provided by the Government, the PIAA is seeking the return of print training in the state.


Rob Hansen, owner, Hansen Design and Print, says apprentice Nick Lacey has been struggling to find a way to get training for his 18 year old apprentice since all year, with Tafe SA no longer providing the training.


He says, “We did all the paperwork with Tafe SA, and then that fell through, as they stopped supporting print apprenticeships. Then we signed up with another provider, Print Training Australia, and did not hear from them for two-three months, only to be told they could not provide training anymore.


“I was then desperate to look after my apprentice, and because we have a location in Arrarat, Victoria, we reached him with Holmesglen in Arrarat, but were advised last week they could not support that because he lives in SA. So at this stage I have an apprentice without any protection, or provider.


“Holmesglen could not take him on because there was no paperwork that would allow him to go there. With the previous Government the training here has been hopeless. Finally, I think we have something organised where there is some funding being approved to sort out this whole mess. In my situation, we have an apprentice who has signed up three times, and gotten nowhere, the whole system has been appalling.


“There is no way of offering my apprentice a print machinist apprenticeship at this point in time. He’s a young lad, 18 years old, he does not know the politics and what is involved. I have been banging on with apartments and the PIAA, trying to fight this and getting nowhere. I hold SA Tafe to blame for walking away and saying this is too hard.


“When you see an 18 year old kid, and he is the one that is suffering, that is cruel, and he does not deserve it. We are in a country town, so we do not have resources to find printers left right and centre, we self train, which is what has kept us in business for the past 38 years.


“Sure we have had some bad ones, but overall, five of my current tradespeople including the manager were trained as apprentices and they are sensational. We have 19 staff, and I’ve been running this business for 38 years. This is the first time challenge I have had in finding apprentices, I have tried every trick in the book to get this apprentice some respect and a trade qualification.


“I have my fingers crossed that this will resolve, I have been relatively patient, but now I feel like something has been done. Walter Kuhn came over to SA and met with officials, and I owe him big time for what he has done for us, and this state.”


The PIAA says it has been in discussions with the new SA Government just after it was elected to office in March expressing the views of its South Australian members that TAFE reform needed to be a key priority of whoever won this year’s election.


Andrew Macaulay, CEO, PIAA says, “To the Government’s credit, they have listened to the views of our members. The focus now is to ensure, through continued dialogue, that this money is put specifically into print and packaging training.”


Walter Kuhn, represented the industry at the South Australian Industry Priority Qualifications Information, Media and Telecommunications Moderation Meeting, which forms the decisions on what training courses are funded, and what are not.


Kuhn says, “The Association is confident and pleased that the Government has told us they will be funding the training, which will help in the uptake of apprentices throughout SA.”


Following meetings with Michaelia Cash, Vocational Education Minister, the PIAA says it is confident that along with the refunding of print apprenticeships, prepress will be brought back as an apprenticeship rather than traineeship while digital print will be brought in as a standalone qualification.

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One thought on “SA apprentice left behind

  1. More PIAA propaganda. The PIAA has not achieved TAFE SA changes. Friends in SA say TAFE SA will not resume its past hands-on print training and flogged off its print equipment a couple of months ago. TAFE SA’s digital print qualification is not new. The SA Government has been talking to SA print businesses about what qualifications the private providers should be funded to deliver. It’s all still in the melting pot and the PIAA has been late to the table. Federal Minister Michaelia Cash and the Federal Government have nothing to do with the SA Government’s apprenticeship funding. I hope that apprentice Nick gets looked after, but I can’t believe what comes out of the PIAA’s mouth.

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