After completing his Certificate III in Printing at Holmesglen, Amel Bilali now runs the machines that print packaging for chocolate bars and ready meals at Amcor, where previously as a labourer there, he only got to clean the machines.
“This qualification allows me to use different machines,” Amel says. “I wanted to expand my skills, and doing a printing apprenticeship was the next logical step that made sense within my department.”
What is a Certificate III in Printing ICP31220?
A Certificate III in Printing ICP31215 is a three-year course for apprentices that covers all practical and theoretical aspects of the printing trade, such as publishing, packaging, newspapers, magazines, digitally printed products and screen printing.
Apprentices are trained and assessed by Holmesglen’s teachers, who are highly qualified and have extensive industry experience.
Most of the program is delivered at the apprentice’s workplace, with a small part of the program based on campus.
Career opportunities for graduates include digital print managers, digital print operators, print machinists and screen printers.
Printing training at Holmesglen “a good experience”
“The attending school side was pretty interesting,” says Amel.
“I liked meeting other apprentices on campus who were also doing the program and hearing about what they do at work on a daily basis.
“And the teachers were really helpful and enthusiastic. It was great to hear about different aspects of the printing industry from people who had been working in it for so long and had a lot of knowledge.
“I had a really good experience”
The role of a printer
As Amel explains, being a printer is not a matter of walking into your workplace, pressing play on a machine and then sitting back.
“A lot of my job is about setting up the machine, getting the colours right, getting repeat orders right, setting up the following job and putting materials and inks into the machine.
“We have to produce packaging to a certain quality – everything has to be correct. And we aim to produce things quickly and accurately, to minimise waste and time.”
Working across three machines that print everything from butter wraps to the peel-off top seals of yoghurts, Amel is part of a team, so getting along with people is essential.
“Communication is also pretty important – being able to take notes and relay information correctly.
“And fault finding is a big one – fixing problems with the machines.”
Amel’s advice for people considering a career as a printer
“You need to ask yourself, ‘Am I willing to do shift work?’ Because shift work impacts your life,” Amel says.
“The night shift at my workplace is 6pm to 6am, and the day shift is 6am to 6pm. It’s OK when you’re younger, but shift work can affect your body. And for most of the 12-hour shift, you’re on your feet”.
Amel is usually rostered on three days a week, but almost always works one or two overtime shifts on top of that.
“With overtime shifts, you’re usually at work for four or five days a week. Overtime shifts are good, if you can do them, because the pay is even better.”
Find out more about our Certificate III in Printing ICP31220 and how to apply.