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A major industry roundtable on the training crisis currently facing print will run at PacPrint, with input invited from all print business owners and managers at the show during the event.

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Training crisis: Industry seeks cohesive voice

To be hosted by a high-powered panel drawn from across the industry, the forum will seek to create a cohesive voice to take to the new Labor government, with hopes that it will prove more responsive to the industry’s needs than the previous administration.

The forum will run 5pm-6pm on Wednesday 29 June at the PacPrint Forum Theatre, which is located within the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

Session speakers will provide an overview across current landscape – looking at funding, training numbers, delivery models; it will then look at training providers – RTOs, enterprise providers, private RTOs; and there wil be a session on regional Australia, including a regional printer's experience with skilling. It will also look at government engagement status and update; and will have a general discussion, focusing on 'what’s a solution?'

Five of the six categories of print apprentices were withdrawn from the Apprentice Priority List by the last government, even though print is one of the biggest manufacturing industries remaining in Australia, with the move causing consternation throughout the trade, which is facing an increasing skill shortage.

A spokesperson from PacPrint organiser Visual Connections said, “The industry has a shortage that can be rectified if we present to government with one clear voice. The aim of this forum is to present the current situation, seek feedback from the industry, and then from there plan a pathway forward.

“Print has serious challenges with attracting the pipeline of young talent it needs, including a lack of RTOs. The move to deprioritise print apprentices was ill-informed. However, in coming together the industry can have a strong clear voice, with a bigger chance of success.”

The high-powered panel will include Mel Ireland, president of the LIA; Andrew Reynolds, from LIA and Multicolor (Enterprise RTO); Vince Sedunary and Anthony Dalleore from flexo and label association FPLMA; Walter Kuhn and Kellie Northwood from PVCA (TRMC); Mitch Mulligan, vice president of suppliers association Visual Connections; Lorraine Cassin, national secretary print at AMWU; Chris Dean from Print Training Australia (Spectra); and Andrew Readman and Elizabeth Jansz from Holmesglen TAFE, which is probably the biggest training centre for print in the country at present.

The panel organiser says this is “very much an open discussion and consultation with the aim of ensuring that we are speaking with one voice”.

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