Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as ¿building blocks¿ because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
This unit group includes pre-press technicians who operate various computer controlled systems to perform pre-press activities and workers who operate graphic arts cameras and scanners, assemble film and negatives and prepare, engrave and etch printing plates or cylinders for various types of printing presses. They are employed in firms that specialize in colour graphics or platemaking and cylinder preparation, commercial printing companies, newspapers, magazines, and in various establishments in the public and private sectors that have in-house printing departments.
- May find that copies do not fit onto pages properly. They adjust fonts and font sizes, margins and spacing to solve such problems. (1)
- May discover that some job specifications are missing. They contact sales staff to fill in missing information such as the size of type or colour of paper. (1)
- May experience equipment breakdowns. They conduct their own electrical or mechanical checks, or call the machinist or electrician. (2)
- May be given low quality originals to work with. They must figure out how to adjust machines so resulting plates are within quality standards. (2)
- May face clients who are not satisfied with a product. They may get permission from their supervisor to redo the job. (2)
- May run into scheduling difficulties when several clients want work done at the same time. They must determine how to get the job done as quickly as possible without compromising quality. (3)
- Decide whether to correct errors in text provided by customers. They may phone customers and ask if they are willing to pay for extra time to correct errors. (1)
- Decide which suppliers to use for photo developing or stripping materials. (2)
- Decide what colour selection will produce the best resolution for printed products. (2)
- May make decisions on certain details which customers forgot to specify, such as colour or font size. They try to reach customers first but go ahead using their own judgment if the customer is not available. (2)
- Decide whether to send plates down to the press or back to composing departments for further work. (2)
Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.
Job Task Planning and Organizing
While workers in camera, platemaking and other pre-press occupations follow schedules set out by print supervisors, they make their own decisions about the sequencing of tasks required to meet the deadlines which have been established. Interruptions are frequent, with rush jobs causing reprioritization of job tasks. In reorganizing their workday, they must co-ordinate their jobs with others. Workers in camera, platemaking and other pre-press occupations may have varied schedules from day to day and must plan to ensure that materials are available for upcoming jobs. (3)
Significant Use of Memory
- Memorize exposure settings and carton measurements for jobs being worked on.
- Remember moment to moment actions such as the number of burns they have already performed on given plates. This is important to remember when there are frequent interruptions.
- Remember limitations of particular press machines, such as grip margins, sizes of paper they can handle, speed, image area and screen capability.
- Refer to production sheets or call clients for job specifications. (1)
- Contact external binderies to learn the specifications of their equipment when parts of the order are being contracted out. (1)
- Consult with film strippers to exchange ideas on how to solve problems. (2)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Workers in camera, platemaking and other pre-press occupations mainly work independently. They may work alone after hours to finish rush jobs. They may work with partners, completing components of jobs which have been divided between them. For example, when dealing with rush orders, one worker might complete the design while the other does the layout. Incumbents of this occupation often work in a team to achieve finished products.
Workers in camera, platemaking or other pre-press occupations learn about new technologies, computer programs and changing processes by attending workshops and training courses, reading journals and searching the Internet.