Become a prepress supervisor with a printing apprenticeship

A machine used in the printing industry.

A love of arts and crafts was the catalyst for Matilda Milligan to choose a career in the printing industry.

Buoyed by the chance to work in a digital design and production environment, Matilda enrolled in the part-time ICP31420 Certificate III in Prepress Graphic Design Production apprenticeship, which gave her the qualification to work as a prepress supervisor.

“I found myself asking countless questions by showing an interest in quality and print processes, which led to lengthy, informative discussions with my managers and printers.

“Soon after, I was offered the opportunity to join the prepress team. Now I can’t picture myself in any other industry,” says Matilda (pictured below).

Now an emerging leader in her field, Matilda has won several highly regarded industry awards, including:

  •  Lithographic Institute of Australia – Victorian Graduate of the Year, 2021
  •  Flexible Packaging and Label Manufacturers Association’s Apprentice of the Year, 2021
  •  Lithographic Institute of Australia Future Leader Award, 2022

“The level of dedication I have put into my schooling at Holmesglen, and work has been acknowledged and rewarded by obtaining these awards, as they are such a great achievement on their own.

In particular, the Lithographic Institute of Australia Future Leader Award is given to an outstanding recent printing graduate to further support their development in industry.

“I also now have greater opportunity in my role.

“Being awarded the Future Leaders Award, I’m able to engage in the future development of the graphic arts industry.”

What does a prepress supervisor do?

Prepress supervisors undertake various manual, digital and administrative tasks within the printing industry.

They work autonomously and in teams and have the right qualifications and skills to work as a pre-media tradesperson.

As a prepress supervisor, Matilda works alongside the production manager and operations manager and says her main roles include:

  •  Assisting with scheduling and operations and costing and estimating
  •  Overseeing the prepress and plate-making area
  •  Purchasing raw materials and supplies
  •  Supervising the research and validation processes of alternative paper suppliers, new print technologies and prepress software and hardware solutions

“Other than technical skills and computer skills, like using the Adobe suite, Holmesglen taught me a lot about other industries, networking and confidence.”

Matilda’s advice for printing apprentices

“Never stop asking questions, question everything you can. If there seems like there could be a more cost-effective way, time saver or better design, voice your opinions.”

What printing courses can I study?

There are various printing apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships available to learners who want to explore career opportunities in the printing industry.

Holmesglen offers certificate qualifications, including in printing and graphic arts, prepress and print binding and finishing areas.

Learners complete their training in our Digital Print Centre at the Chadstone campus, which features the latest technology and equipment and is supported by key industry organisations.

Find out more about your printing career opportunities and training pathways at our printing courses page.

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