Press Technician Level 3 Apprenticeship

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Printing is carried out using printing presses; typically, the company’s most expensive and valuable machinery. There are 6 different categories of printing: lithography, screen, flexography, gravure, letterpress and digital. Each requires different techniques in order to operate successfully, and companies may use one or more categories of press depending on the customer needs. Job duties can vary according to machine type and technology, as well as by printing category.

Those with a mechanical and technical mind-set the role of press technician may be attractive due to the complexity of the equipment and the wide array of continuous improvement methods which could be applied in a given situation.

Start date: October and April

Course Information

What you will study

  • Printing machinery, including a detailed understanding of the full
    operating capabilities and limitations of the specific press.
  • Production processes including the cause and effect of pre-press issues on
    print and print issues on post-press.
  • Presses are high-value capital equipment. Therefore, an in-depth knowledge
    of how to prepare a machine for running, shut down, and maintenance.
  • The properties and structures of materials, inks, toners, blankets,
    plates, cylinders and the various chemicals required for successful long-term
    operation and maintenance.
  • Quality control expectations and how to apply continuous improvement
    techniques to cost, quality and delivery.
  • How to safely handle, transport and store various materials and chemicals
    within the print working environment.
  • How to complete all reports and relevant paperwork for specified job or


Benefits / Skills

Set up, run and maintain a specified type of multi-unit printing press at the appropriate speed and at quality levels dictated by the work instructions and company guidelines. This can include cleaning and servicing key elements or preparing the machine for the next shift.

Deal with a wide range of different printing operations; handling inks and maintenance

Assessment Types

How you will be assessed

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