Jessica on her way to become a Future Leader in Printing

Jessica on her way to become a Future Leader in Printing

  • Published on Monday 7 September, 2015
  • 6 min. to read

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Australian apprenticeships leading to successful outcomes both for the business and trainees is something MEGT endeavours to achieve daily!

Jessica McAuley, who works as a Digital Printer trainee at Drum Print and Publications, recently won the 2015 Western Australian L.I.A (Lithographic Institute of Australia) Graduate of the Year award.

Mark Banner, Managing Director, Drum Print and Publications hopes Jessica does well in the National awards as she has put in a huge effort to achieving the best results. Drum Print was not looking to hire a trainee at that time but were so impressed with Jessica in her work placement that they promised her the traineeship after school finished.
“Jess has excelled in the traineeship course and is highly regarded amongst the TAFE trainers and the industry body overseeing the course”, says Mark.

MEGT’s Australian Apprenticeship Support Network services Drum Print, signed Jessica into her Training Contract and continues to monitor her progress through her traineeship.

Following is an interview with Jessica on her career as a Digital Printer

1. How long have you been doing your apprenticeship?

I have been doing my apprenticeship for about 21 months – so almost 2 years. I have had no previous experience in this job role apart from a school program. I went straight from school into this job/apprenticeship.

2. How did you get into Printing as an industry?

In my Year 12, I dropped out of my ATAR (higher education studies) and went through a workplace program in order to have more workplace experience and get a feel for the real world. It involved spending a few weeks that year at a local business of my choice. I chose Drum Print and Publications in Mandurah, as I am a creative person and wanted to learn more about the printing industry. From those 2 weeks here at Drum Mark (my boss) then offered me an apprenticeship as a Digital Printer (Certificate III in Printing and Graphic Arts/Design (digital printing)).

I love that every day is different, there’s always different jobs to be done for different people. It allows me to experience a lot of different roles and helps me get to know a lot of people in my community, as well as be creative at the same time.

3. What do you love most about your job?

I love that every day is different, there’s always different jobs to be done for different people. One day I could be just printing all day, the next I could be designing an annual report for a racing association. It allows me to experience a lot of different roles and helps me get to know a lot of people in my community, as well as be creative at the same time. Printing is an enjoyable and very rewarding industry because you get to see the finished product that you designed, printed and cut down and sitting on the shelf. For example, I designed labels for a Chilli sauce bottle and we got these printed. In a few weeks, they were up on the shelf in the local IGA for sale – that to me is very rewarding.

4. Are you starting to see new opportunities since commencing your apprenticeship?

Every day in this apprenticeship I see new opportunities, whether it be for myself or for the business. Printing is expanding into new areas as it is advancing with the progression of technology. Our machines are getting more complex and able to achieve more things, which means we are able to come up with more creative ideas, which for both me and the business creates new opportunities.

5. What would be your advice to someone who is thinking about joining the industry?

I would definitely give it a go, it’s a very rewarding industry, and the people in it are very helpful and very passionate. I think the only reason people don’t tend to pick this industry is because they don’t know much about it. If you enjoy doing different things and being creative, this is definitely the industry for you. Lots of people love graphic design, this is even better because you can be creative and use the graphic design but you can also physically make it yourself and you can turn around and say, I made that, the whole thing. That’s something not many people can say.

6. What are your next steps to winning this competition?

I am now in the finals for the National L.I.A Graduate of the Year award. Currently I’m in the middle of finishing up my written submission which gets sent off to Brisbane at the end of September, then I fly over and go through an interview process with about 10 other contestants, there is a winner from each state for 2015 and last year’s winner for 2014 as it is a biannual event.

Good luck Jessica!