Shereno Printers launches Training Academy

Training is considered one of the most important requirements for the consistent improvement of quality and service provision. While vocational training and education is important, there is very often a need for job or career specific training to ensure that the level of skills in a given industry meet the requirements of that industry. Failure to train is a certain route to diminished quality. The South African Printing Industry is no exception, skills improvement is a constant requirement. This is due to the fact that technology is constantly advancing the disparity between existing skills and production requirements. One method of addressing this disparity is through in-house training. Industry bodies also offer training which can assist in growing the skills base. In the South African printing industry there is currently no practical training facility for design and electronic origination. The result this has on the industry is that there is a constant skills shortage and the personnel who are employed in the industry become the target of regular head-hunting. The result of which is demands for higher salaries for these qualified and experienced personnel. This has a negative influence on productivity and profitability. In answer to the need for trained and qualified designers and electronic origination specialists, Shereno Printers has opened the Shereno Training Academy at its premises in Boksburg. The aim is to address the industry-wide need for designers and prepress operators who have the necessary knowledge, background and training to be able to enter the market. The Academy and its course have been accredited by the FP&M SETA. Said Niran Singh, CEO of Shereno Printers, ‘There is a dearth of good quality designers in the marketplace who have the necessary understanding of the requirements for the printing industry. We have an abiding interest in training young South Africans and this is a medium in which we feel we can make a significant contribution.’ The course will be run over a two- to three-year period during which time students will have to complete both theoretical and practical aspects of the course. The theory part of the course has been designed and developed to meet the needs of the printing industry by the NISSI Training Centre and the syllabus is prescribed by the SETA. The practical aspects of the training will be handled at the specially-built training facility at Shereno Printers. Various criteria have been put in place to ensure that students are able to handle the rigorous course requirements. The minimum entry qualification is matric but the requirements laid out by the SETA will also be valid. Students will be required to enter into an agreement with the SETA and the Training Academy. Niran added, ‘Training Contracts, once signed cannot be broken which means that the students selected have to be highly motivated to complete the course. The result is that this course cannot be looked at as an alternative for post-matric study, it must be considered as a career.’ The course is open to students who are certain that they want this to be their chosen career path. Although students are welcome from all areas, the Academy does not offer accommodation nor does it provide for travelling expenses, so preference will be given to students from the East Rand area in order to contain travelling costs and also to contribute to the development goals of the area. The initial course will have an intake of 16 students and thereafter there will be an annual intake of 10 students. The course will take two to three years to complete but students who work hard to meet all the requirements should be able to complete all the theoretical and practical modules in two years. Each of the theoretical modules requires that examinations be written. The examination papers and dates are set by the SETA. Practical content will constitute 60 to 70 percent of the course. The theoretical content includes: Business Studies, Computer Applications, Communications, Printer’s Admin, Costing and Estimating and Trade Subjects. The practical content will include: •Use of the computer, computer literacy and operating systems, viruses, Apple Macs. •Safety and first aid and ergonomics •Electronic Origination •Typesetting and layout •Drawing, colour separation and colour retouching •Software programmes and their uses •Creation of artwork •Developing customer-related products •Design skills and sources of material, artwork and use of the internet •Legal implications and compliance. While Shereno cannot guarantee employment to the students upon completion of the course, it will give preference to the students who have completed the course when considering new positions to be filled in one of its two design centres. Niran concluded, ‘Through this Training Academy, Shereno Printers will become a resource to the printing industry. We will be providing the industry with a steady feed of qualified and experienced designers and electronic originators who understand the needs and requirements of the industry, something which has been lacking for a long time. The industry as a whole will benefit.’