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NZSDA boosts Signee program with new training officer

New Zealand's largest sign and display industry group NZSDA has appointed graphic design specialist Carol King as its new training and communications officer to lead a new training initiative called Signee – Education to Employment.

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Signee Careers Expo

King has extensive experience as a graphic design educator and spend 13 years at Yoobee School of Design, starting out as a volunteer before becoming a tutor, then head of department and eventually national programme manager. Most recently, she was graphic design programme leader at the Design and Arts College. 

At both Yoobee and Design & Arts, King designed, developed and implemented two new NZQA level 6 Graphic Design qualifications.

NZSDA Carol King
Carol King, training & communications officer, NZSDA

“Carol is based in Christchurch and comes to us with a wealth of knowledge in training, processes, implementing unit standards, communications and teaching,” NZSDA president Paul Walters told association members in a newsletter. “Carol has a very strong background in design, having had many years working at Yoobee teaching and developing their training needs. Carol is familiar with some aspects of sign making which is an advantage in this process and makes her transition to the role easier.”

The move to boost Signee, which was launched earlier this year, follows a survey of NZSDA members that found 98% wanted a training program, 85% said they would take on an apprentice if they had prior knowledge of the industry, 95% confirmed that a Signee manual would be helpful for both trainee and employer, and over 64% said they would help to fund Signee.

“Across the nation, 77% of members saw the need for better training in Application and Installation, while Design closely followed with 69%,” said Walters.  “58% of our members saw a need for Fabrication training, 43% for traditional and 37% for Illumination. Under 'Other,' we had a few digital printing requirements and Safety.

“Launching our training arm Signee - Education to Employment earlier this year was a vision that our board developed as a need for our industry, and our survey confirmed the need to future proof our learners, raise the standards and provide the industry and employers with better educated learners for modern sign workshops. Now that we have most of our members support, we are happy to keep tracking forward to develop the Signee brand nationwide.”

King will work closely with the NZSDA board and marketing and administration assistant Melissa Coutts “to evolve and develop” the Signee brand to be ready and in place for early next year.

“We will see the training and education for our industry flourish to ultimately become a leading trade in the way we educate our young learners in the transition from high school to apprenticeships,” Walters said. “Carol is excited to be part of the association’s vision in achieving the training initiatives that we are working towards, so please welcome Carol into the Industry.”

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