Signarama, NSW govt seek to boost apprentices

Print franchise Signarama secures state funding from the NSW government, to be used on a four week pre-apprenticeship course in sign and graphics at Sydney Tafe.

The course includes one-week of industry placement, in which those interested get placed in a Signarama store to get a feel of the graphics industry. It is the second time the course has been offered, with the first in early 2016, with applicants placed in Signarama stores in the Sydney metropolitan area.

Andrew Bryson is the executive director of Apprenticeship Engagement Forum, a NSW industry advisory body.

Bryson says, “We want to get more people into the industry, as it is expanding, and we are not getting enough skilled people to meet the requirements and demands.

“We need more apprentices, particularly females. They are absolutely necessary for this industry. They bring a quality and skill to the graphics industry that is brilliant.

“What we do is give people the opportunity to be in contact with a real work environment, as there is a work experience component. We also give them to opportunity to complete units within the apprenticeship, so they can demonstrate their competence.

“It is an opportunity to see if this is what you want to do. If you do, it is a three-year process to get your apprenticeship.

“What we are doing is working with Signarama to tell the world to join us, there is a future in sign and graphics, and apprentices face much better employment prospects than those who study at University, where it often takes months or years to find work.

“We have the most important industry in Australia, that is completely unknown by Australians. There are signs everywhere, but no-one stops to think who makes them, and how important they are to avoid chaos.”

Bryson says more than 50 per cent of 2016’s pre-apprentices went on to continue study, a number which they want to improve.

The course begins September 4. Signarama has more than 100 stores across Australia in regional and central locations.

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