Visual Connections Australia

Industry Businesses Urged to Consider Apprenticeships


As interest in print, sign and graphics careers grows off the back of the successful Sign & Print Career Connections program launch in Melbourne earlier this month, industry businesses are being urged to strongly consider putting on an apprentice to ease staff shortages and bring new talent into the industry.

Students flocked to the Sign & Print Career Connections stand in Melbourne - now, enquiries about apprenticeships are flooding in.


As this story went to press, close to a thousand hits had already been clocked on the Sign & Print Career Connections online resource, which provides students with more information about the print, sign and graphics sector, and connects them to training and employment opportunities. 

Sarah Moore, General Manager of Visual Connections, the supplier association which is leading the initiative, said the interest generated by the Melbourne debut had exceeded even the most optimistic expectations and, with further careers expos coming up soon in other States, that demand is set to grow exponentially over coming months.

“Our partners at AusSIP who run the on-stand experience for Sign & Print Career Connections, have told us that they have never seen interest as high as it was in Melbourne, where the show organisers told us our stand was by far the most popular at the show,” she reports.

“The bright and graphically arresting stand design, delivered in cooperation with the Visual Media Association and IVE Group, really attracted attention and drove up numbers. 

“Once on stand, students were really engaged with the Try-A-Trade activities, welcoming the opportunity to get some hands-on experience and connect with current apprentices, TAFE teachers and our volunteers who could give them a real-world perspective on industry careers.

“There was also a comprehensive 20-page brochure that provided additional information on the industry, career opportunities, and training options, and they were snapped up in their hundreds,” she says.

Organisers are still crunching the numbers from the show, but Tina Mavris and John Watters from AusSIP, who coordinate the program with Visual Connections, estimate they connected with well over 500 prospective apprentices over the three-day event.

“The interest really was phenomenal,” John says. “We had constant conversations and gave out hundreds of brochures at the Melbourne show, and that interest was absolutely confirmed by the number of hits we’ve already had to the online micro-site. 

“With shows coming up in Adelaide and Brisbane in May, and then in Perth in July and Sydney in August, we’re confident that the interest will only grow as students get closer to making decisions about their future.”

For Sarah, it’s further proof of what Visual Connections and AusSIP have seen over many years driving similar initiatives through trade shows and earlier iterations of the Sign & Print Career Connections program.

“This has proven, once again, that when young people are exposed to our industry, they are genuinely excited by the potential it offers for them to build their career,” says Sarah.

“We now have a growing group of creative, motivated and enthusiastic young people interested in being the next generation of print, sign and graphics professionals. 

“Now, it’s time for industry businesses to step up and provide the employment opportunities they need to kick off their careers. So, if you are looking for staff, I’d encourage you to really consider tapping into this vast resource of new talent by registering your interest in employing an apprentice.”

Businesses can create an apprenticeship job ad by going to Sign & Print Career Connections online and clicking ‘Post an Apprenticeship’. Job ads will be displayed for 90 days, with students able to search for both job opportunities and training courses by State on the site.

Sign & Print Career Connections is a collaborative venture between Visual Connections, ASGA, FESPA Australia, FPLMA, LIA and VMA. 

It is sponsored by Amari Visual Solutions, Ball & Doggett, Fujifilm Graphic Systems, Graphic Art Mart, Mulford Plastics, ORAFOL, Pozitive Sign & Graphics Supplies and Sign-a-Rama. Böttcher, FPLMA, Hero Print, IVE, MacDirmid Graphic Solutions and Spicers are partner sponsors.