Training & Apprenticeship

Training and learning is an important part of our world today and in many ways it forms a huge part of our processes and the way we work within our working environment on a daily basis.  To ensure that you are doing the best you can for your business, employees and your customers you need to ensure that they are fully equipped with the most current information on standard practices, have their current licences and/or passports to be able to carry out their work to the best of their ability, while they represent your business and its reputation.  Another aspect to encourage is to educate your staff with new innovations, products and services, or to even consider the opportunity to give back to the industry by taking on a young learner, teach them how diverse and challenging our sign making industry can be.


How and why do we need to attend Site Safe courses?
Site Safe provides over 400 courses nationwide every month and is NZQA approved.

Ongoing quality assurance, expert trainers and industry moderation means their courses are of the highest standard. Trainees receive quality training and employers get value for their training investments.  The experience and benefits that you will receive from Site Safe training is amongst the best in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Sign and Display Association fully supports and encourages safe practices, training and education within the sign industry, and now with the Health and Safety Act more prominent in the workplace environment, it becomes even more apparent that a good in-house training programme is a must in all business of today.  By establishing a training programme for your employees you can continue keep up to current standards and be a compliant business.

Site Safe and New Zealand Sign and Display Association work together bringing benefits to our members so they can successfully run their businesses in a cost effective, compliant manner.  If you are a NZSDA member, or would like to become one to take advantage of Site Safe’s courses, then get in contact with us today to find out more.


What you need to know to become an apprentice in the Sign Industry?
The Signmaking apprenticeship provides work based training for young people and adults to undertake key technical and operational roles in the Signmaking Industries.


The signmaking process involves many diverse skills, from computer graphic design through to digital signage and incorporates materials such as Perspex, vinyl, plastic, metal, glass and wood. Various methods are used to produce lettering for signs, depending on the project – for example, computer-controlled routers for 3D lettering and shapes from various materials, cutting and applying lettering or digital imagery to panels, banners and vehicles.


Screen-printing may also be used to produce posters and show cards, while traditional sign writing could involve designing by hand and painting with sign writing brushes using enamel and water based paints.


Apprentices need to learn a range of skills including how to design signs; prepare different types of surfaces; cut out and build letters and logos; use digital LED technologies and install signs. The use of self adhesive pressure sensitive vinyl makes up a huge part of the modern sign shop including wide format digital printing, laminating and application of vinyl to various substrates.


The nature of the work will vary with the employer, but it could involve machining, colour vinyl wrapping vehicles, printing, hand decorating, spray-painting and screen-printing.


How do I apply for an Apprenticeship?

Competenz is our industry partner and they help us recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers to our industry, identifying potential apprentices and encouraging work placements.

Competenz also ensures that our industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, they support our industry events and celebrate our learners’ success through the annual Sign making Apprentice of the Year Award.

When apprentices enrol with Competenz they are assigned a Competenz account manager. Their account managers understand the industry and the skills learners and businesses need.

Competenz manages and supports apprenticeships for the sign making industry via a four year programme that incorporates the Level 3 and Level 4 New Zealand Certificates in Signmaking (total 240 credits).

An employee who completes an apprenticeship will have a solid grounding in their trade, knowledge of business operations, problem solving skills and a highly respected and widely recognised qualification.

The purpose of this apprenticeship programme is to provide the signmaking industry with individuals who have attained sufficient competencies and capabilities to work in the industry and help advance in the signmaking industry. Graduates will be capable of operating at an advanced level with no supervision.

Other training options include completing just one National Certificate or a limited credit training program to suit your needs. Specialisations within these qualifications can be viewed on the Competenz website here Read more on a Career in Sign Making