Apprenticeship in Print Media

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What is a Print Media Craftsperson?
The work of the Print Media craftsperson is through four main production sectors – Prepress, Printing, Print Finishing, Carton Making

It involves the setting up, operating and service printing presses to print quality images on paper, board, foil and film. As part of this work they operate machine settings, adjustments, diagnose and rectify faults on equipment, materials and processes, interpret computerised printing machine management system and platemaking. They also operate multi colour presses.

Print Media craftspersons require many skills including:
• Knowledge of scientifi c principles underlying processes materials
• A broad knowledge of materials, systems and procedures
• Working with a range of instruments, machinery and specialised tools
• Producing layouts, forme sets and operating forme making equipment
• Planning and producing sample cartons,
• Setting and operating cutting machines, creasing machines and set and gluing machines
• Operate quality control and implementing quality assurance procedures

Personal Qualities and Skills

Working in the Print Industry, you must have the ability to:
• Plan and organise
• Report and communicate eff ectively
• Solve problems
• Use your own initiative
• Have an awareness of environmental issues
• Work independently and as part of a team
• Show a positive attitude
• Recognise the need for good customer relations
• Demonstrate good work practices including time keeping, tidiness, responsibility, quality awareness and safety awareness
Aspects of work
• Learning and developing new practical craft-related skills, knowledge and competence
• Working with and learning from experienced Craftspersons
• Seeing a job through from start to fi nish
• Comply with Health and Safety requirements
• Understanding technical specifi cations
• Being responsible for controlling or adjusting equipment
• Be able to diagnose and rectify faults
• Working with computer technology
• Operating tools or machinery
• Accuracy and attention to detail
• Being well organised and careful with practical tasks
• Keeping accurate records or reports
• Taking responsibility for own learning, including the allocation of study time
• Passing all your phase exams (theory, practicals skills demonstrations)
• Earning as you learn
How to become an Apprentice
– You must obtain employment as an apprentice in your chosen occupation.
– The employer must be approved to train apprentices.
– The employer must register you as an apprentice within two weeks of recruitment.
– In certain crafts, apprenticeship applicants are required to pass a colour vision test approved by SOLAS.


Entry Requirements
The minimum age at which the employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age.

The minimum educational requirements are:
1. Grade D in five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,
2. The successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course
3. Three years’ work experience gained over sixteen years of age in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable

It should be noted that these are the current approved minimum educational requirements inimum educational requirements for apprenticeship programmes, however, previous experience of the following subjects would be an advantage but not essential: Technical Drawing/Graphics, IT ( Information Technology) Skills.

Opportunities on Qualification
On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, apprentices are qualified to work within the recognised trade or profession. Where craftspersons have the necessary ability and initiative, opportunities are available for advancement. These include advanced technology courses and management courses which are available in Institutes of Technology, Schools of Management and Professional Institutes.
Many craftspersons use their qualification as a platform to launch careers such as engineers, managers, owners of businesses, teachers and instructors amongst others.

Apprenticeship Training Programme

Phase 1: With Employer (Min. 6 weeks)
Induction Training
Introduction to Health & Safety
Introduction to Tools & Equipment
Introduction to Basic Skills

Phase 2: Delivered in Educational Institute (22 weeks)
Personal Skills including Law
Digital Printing/I.T. Skills
Press Management
Lithographic Printing
Computerised Press Operation
Planning and Platemaking
Prepress Practical Skills
Originals and Reproduction Computer to Plate Technology
Print Finishing and Carton Processes
Guillotines/Folding Magazine Work Adhesive
Binding/Carton Making
Related Theory

Phase 3: With Employer (Min. 11 weeks)
Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 4: Delivered in Educational Institute (14 weeks)
Course Content:
Press Management
Lithographic Printing
Computerised Press Management System
Platemaking Flexographic & Gravure Printing Web – Off set
Rotary Letterpress Printing
CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Equipment
Graphic Design Binding – CAD (computer aided design)
Digital Imaging
Pre Press and Planning
Related Theory

Phase 5: With Employer (104 weeks – 2 years)
Work Based Training and Assessments
The overall duration of this apprenticeship is a minimum of
3 years provided all phases are successfully completed. On
successful completion of the programme the learner is awarded
a Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft – Print Media

For further information please contact your local Education & Training Board Training Centre or log onto