Post-Press Technician Level 3 Apprenticeship

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Finishing is a general term used in the print industry to describe any processes after printing. This is usually in the final stages of creating a printed product such as books, booklets, catalogues, pop-ups and display units.

Special techniques are applied as part of the finishing role by using pieces of individual equipment to perform separate tasks such as cutting paper to the correct size, cutting and folding sheets into pages or gluing and stapling sections together.

Work may also be carried out in teams, with each performing different functions to hit the quality criteria and production schedule. Those with a flexible and practical mindset may find the role of post-press technician attractive due to the need to complete multiple processes using various techniques.

Start dates: October and April

Course Information

What you will study

  • Pre-press and post-press processes and equipment and how their role will
    impact upon others.
  • Properties and structures of materials, adhesives and various other
    chemicals and able to explain them in detail.
  • Physical properties of the numerous paper/plastic stocks and their
    benefits & constraints, including weight, grain direction, coatings and
    how this affects the final product.
  • How to convert sheets into pages and products for example ‘sheet-work’,
    ‘work-and-turn’, and ‘work-and tumble’.
  • How to safely and effectively convert the source materials into the
    customer’s specific product by using a combination of machinery and processes.

  • The benefits and constraints of the many different folding types including
    parallels, gatefolds, barn door flap folds, and letter folds.
  • How to apply different finishes to different substrates e.g. scented
    varnish, holographic foiling, soft-touch laminate, near-field communication
    sticker etc.
  • How the final product is expected to perform and the process by which it
    is to be received by the customer.


Benefits / Skills

Set up, run and maintain a specific range of finishing equipment at the appropriate speed and at quality levels a set out by the work instructions and company guidelines, such as: guillotines, stitching-trimming machinery, binding machinery, laminating equipment, die-cutters. This can include cleaning and servicing key elements or preparing the machine for the next shift.

Assessment Types

  • Observation at work
  • Online exam at a GQA centre
  • Professional discussion at work

Entry Requirements

Maths and English at level 4 or above.

Career Progression

Full time employment with the employer.

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Course Details


2 years

Study Type

Full time

Course Code


School of Creative Arts
Leeds City College
Leeds City College