ASGA was well represented at Tuesday's Careers Expo in Sydney. With a prime spot near the entry, AusSIP ASGA Liason Managers John Watters and Tina Mavris fielded multiple enquiries from students and parents, with the main challenge explaining just what constitutes the Signage Industry and the real depth and breadth of it.

AusSIP's ASGA Liason Managers John Watters and Tina Mavris at the Sydney Careers Expo

With jobs galore available in the Signage and related industry, reaching out to school leavers is a great way of presenting the industry as a fulfilling, exciting and long-term career prospect. This happened this week at the kick-off of the multi-state Apprenticeship/Training & Jobs Expo. Representing ASGA was AusSIP (The Australian Schools-Industry Partnership), whose officers will travel to all five NSW events across the state over the next couple of months.

AusSIP ASGA Liaison Manager John Watters told Wide Format Online: "The world of signage is a great opportunity for young people to explore. Working with ASGA, AusSIP is helping young people explore the many opportunities the signage industry has to offer.

"Unfortunately, most people do not know about the industry and the various specialisations within. The employers we have worked with and visited, produce high quality, unique products that are not easily copied or offshored. Employers are wanting young people that are passionate and can multitask. As we always say, ‘the standard is high and it doesn’t drop’.

"Many students and parents often indicate Uni as a post-school pathway, as it viewed as safe. Unfortunately, for many it is akin to delayed career-decision making and HECS debt accumulation.

"There is great synergy between the world of signage and print, that should be leveraged from. In a competitive marketplace where every industry is desperately seeking staff, every recruitment avenue must be explored. There is rarely a silver bullet.

"The support of Visual Connections and ASGA demonstrates that whilst they might not be the biggest ‘players’ compared to some other industry bodies, they are genuinely trying to make a positive difference."

Recruiter James Cryer at the Expo

Certainly, with increasing range and scope of Signage and Wide Format technology, which can now include multi-store fitouts, textiles and Tee-Shirts, short run packaging and POS fabrication and vehicle fleet and boat wrapping: there is plenty happening to keep young minds and bodies busy and engaged in a colourful, important and progressive $3 billion industry.

While visiting the Expo, we ran into industry recruiter James Cryer of JDA Printrecruit, who lamented that, while the Sign industry and ASGA were well represented, he could find no promotion of careers in the wider Prining industry. "TAFE were there but there was no information I could find on general commercial printing job opportunities. We are seeking trainees and candidates across all sectors of print and multi-skilled people are very much in demand, especially if they can hop from designing on a Mac over to ripping files to a wide format printer, finishing the output and even installing the end result."

The task of attracting apprentices and trainees to our industry is forever on-going - we may be a very visible industry with the magnificent end results produced for customers, but little is understood about the mechanism of making it all come together and how combining the skills of graphic design, digital printing, colour management, construction and fabrication, electrics and visual impact can power businesses great and small.

We're all part of it; let's sing the praises of our industry whenever we can!





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