View Career : Photogravure Engraver

Photogravure engravers are responsible for the reproduction of all material on copper plates, which are used in the gravure printing process.

They use cameras and screens to photograph the material to be reproduced, which may be photographs, text that has been set, line drawings, etc. A negative is developed and then a positive made on a transparent, light- sensitive celluloid or plastic material, which is placed beneath pigmented paper in a frame. The pigmented paper is finally transposed onto a slowly rotating copper cylinder in a trough containing hot water, to develop the image or picture.

Photogravure engravers may also develop colour photographs by using three separate colour filters.

Some satisfying aspects of this career
- working with your hands
- satisfaction of producing high quality work
- challenging work
- working in a relatively clean setting

Some demanding aspects of this career
- possible boredom from repetitive work
- frustration in trying to improve creative work, such as photographs which are out of focus
- working with the smell of developing chemicals

A photogravure engraver should:
- be at least 16 years old
- be able to concentrate for long periods;
- enjoy working with his hands;
- work quickly and accurately even under pressure;
- be responsible;
- enjoy performing routine work tasks;
- have some artistic ability;
- have an interest in photography.

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: None

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

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
- Newspaper plants
- Book and magazine publishers
- Metal can companies
- Government departments
- Government Printing Works
- Firms that do their own printing