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Printer's Cutter
Before the actual printing of books, newspapers, periodicals and other printed matter takes place, the paper must be prepared and submitted in the appropriate form and size, in each case.

Printer's cutters measure and cut paper according to specified dimensions. Power-driven guillotines are operated to perform this. The paper is then arranged in batches and prepared for the subsequent printing operation.

Printer's cutters must be well acquainted with receiving and dispatching procedures.

Satisfying Aspects
- working with your hands
- satisfaction of producing evenly cut paper
- working in a relatively clean setting

Demanding aspects
- possible boredom from repetitive tasks
- standing or walking most of the day
- noise from machines

A printer's cutter should:
- be at least 16 years old;
- be neat;
- work very accurately;
- be alert and careful;
- show a sense of responsibility;
- have a certain amount of mechanical insight;
- be able to work in a team.

Printers' warehousing (including cutting) workers need:
-manual dexterity
-good eye-hand coordination
-good vision
-stamina and strength.

School Subjects
Grade 10 Certificate for a learnership at a company
National Senior Certificate for full-time training at the Southern African Printing College

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Mathematics

Diploma: Southern African Printing College

If you want to become a printer's cutter you need to register with an employer providing suitable training. Training consists of theoretical and practical work:

Theoretical training: at the Southern African    Printing College (full-time) or through their Distance Learning Department (part-time)

There are three ways to qualify as a registered artisan:

1. An apprenticeship is a 4-year contract between company and apprentice, comprising a 12-week theoretical training, which includes 4 subjects at national exam level.

2. A learnership is a structured learning programme that leads to a qualification in a certain field. The learnership programme includes a theoretical and a practical component. It usually takes about a year to complete. The training takes place on-site (on the premises of the organisation). This has the advantage that the learner gets on-the-job experience whilst training.

3. FET colleges offer theoretical training to prospective artisans via the new National Certificate Vocational (NCV). During this 3-year programme (levels 2 to 4), learners complete a school-leaving certificate (this NCV) similar to the
new National Senior Certificate (NSC) in schools. They are also exposed to a practical workshop component.

All learners are required to complete a practical internship under the supervision of an experienced artisan. As an alternative to doing the full qualification, a learner can apply to do a skills programme at a FET College. Skills programmes are short practical hands-on courses.

For more information about qualifications and skills programmes, contact your nearest FET College. FET Colleges are accredited and funded by a SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) such as MERSETA or CHIETA. They also receive bursary funding through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for the NCV programme.

Learners must all receive training in occupational safety and first aid, fire-fighting and preventative security measures. Learners study everything about the installation, maintenance and repair of all electrical equipment. They must also become familiar with municipal legislation relevant to electricity supply and consumption.

- Commercial printing plants
- Book and magazine publishers
- Newspaper plants
- Stationery and envelope manufacturers
- Government departments
- Government Printing Works
- Manufacturers and other firms that do their own printing

Printing Industries Federation of South Africa (PIFSA)
P O Box 1396
Gallo Manor, 2052
The Braids
113 - 115 Bowling Avenue
Gallo Manor, 2191
Tel: (011) 287-1160 Fax: (011) 287-1178

Media Skills for Africa
Tel: (056) 818-1814