a colour. The pro is, however, that once you know what you’re doing, it gets easier and easier to get it right the first time around.”
There is no formal theoretical training available in South Africa for ink technicians, and everything you know, you learn through hands-on training. While there is a correspon-dence course through the University of Oxford, the industry is more lenient about this qualification, because it’s not readily available in South Africa. Hein explains that, once you’ve been introduced to the industry, it would take you about three months’ training to understand the basics.
Being hardworking, patient and extremely accurate, and paying attention to the finest detail are very important when it comes to being an ink technician. Precision is essential, as the ink can’t be out, even by a shade.
“You have to make sure that you have the correct colour, because if you don’t, there could be consequences. These could impact financially on your business and on your client’s product reproduction. You can’t mess up. You have to be very critical and accurate,” explains Hein.
He adds that being friendly and willing to work with customers are also advantageous.
Ink technicians work straight day shifts. Hein works from about 7.45 am until 5.00 pm. “However, if there are rush jobs or emergencies, you might have to put in some extra hours,” he shrugs. Beginners can expect to earn around R5 000.
“It’s a time-orientated environment. Customers are demanding and want their inks urgently – everyone thinks their job is more important than anyone else’s. Your turnaround time needs to be as quick as possible, and there is no time to mess around.”
There is a great sense of job satisfaction. “It’s not always easy to get the colour a customer requests very quickly, so every day presents a new challenge. You have to make sure it’s the right colour, and when you get the colour, there is a sense of achievement attached to it.”
Hein has been in the industry for 19 years and, although he knew very little about the blending of ink when he first arrived at Continental, he now knows the process like the back of his hand.
Published By: Marli Merz & Matters