Pre-Press Technician Level 3 Apprenticeship

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A Pre-press Technician is skilled in all the physical processes that occur before the printing process. Pre-press is the first stage of production, and is the term used for creating, editing and outputting print-ready designs for books, newspapers and packaging.

Those with a technical mind and who have great attention to detail may find the role interesting due to the complexity of the workflows and software, as well as the assurances of quality required before passing a job to production.

Start dates: October and April

Course Information

What you will study

  • Creation of an output image carrier ready for onward production, i.e. a print-ready electronic file; plate or cylinder.
  • Production of plates, cylinders, screens and/or electronic file to the required production standard.
  • Recognise the different company equipment and its associated needs in printing and finishing processes, so pre-press can support the other departments in meeting customer specifications effectively e.g. setting colour profiles accurately so the print technicians can set up their machines more effectively.
  • Application of Colour Theory in the various industry processes and quality assurance.
  • Receipt, checking, and processing of digital files such as print-ready PDFs, database and colour/ink profile files.
  • Completes relevant paperwork for specified job/department for communication and to demonstrate accountability.
  • Design and production of creative digital artwork appropriate for print production. Planning and production of edited images ready for various software such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, QuarkXPress etc.
  • How to check digital files and solve issues with software and workflow management.
  • Creation of imposition schemes and job layouts.


Benefits / Skills

  • Demonstrate proficiency in a range of pre-press, design, workflow management such as ‘Adobe Creative Suite’.
  • Convert customer files to print-ready files using various software and workflow packages.
  • Send, receive and process digital files in the workflow, or e.g. using Adobe Creative Suite. Discuss job/design brief matters with the customer and provide advice on print-related issues where necessary.

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
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