Print Operative Apprenticeship

Start your journey into the dynamic world of the print and graphics communication sector with a level 2 Print Operative Apprenticeship.

The Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard for Print Operatives is suitable for those wishing to get started in the print industry, whether that be in Pre-press (design or image carrier preparation), Machine printing (All processes) and Print finishing (all disciplines).

This apprenticeship can be completed in various industries with employers varying from smaller shops to multinational organisations. These companies may be in:

  • Physical printed security products 
  • Functional printing on a variety of materials
  • Reading material
  • Personalised gifts
  • Packaging
  • Advertising materials

During this 24-month program, all apprentices on this course must complete a core unit and an optional additional unit. These units are:

  • Pre-press operative
  • Press operative
  • Post-press operative

Some activities that you may complete depending on your sector can include:

  • Using software packages
  • Maintaining and using equipment for production
  • Quality control
  • Sustainable disposal of materials
  • Problem-solving
  • Working as part of a team


Maths and English qualifications are a mandatory part of the apprenticeship and must be completed before the apprentice gateways—further information on apprenticeship funding rules.

Unlock your future with an Apprenticeship

Whether you are a school leaver, want a career change, or want to upskill yourself in your current industry. An apprenticeship could help you obtain new skills and qualifications with industry-leading companies while earning a salary.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a paid job where you can gain valuable hands-on experience in the industry or sector of your choice. Alongside on-the-job training, during the program, you will spend at least 20% of your working hours doing classroom-based learning with a training provider, college, or university, leading to a nationally recognised qualification.

Top 5 reasons to do an apprenticeship

  1. Paid Employment – Apprentices are employees of the company they are with, meaning they will earn a salary and have access to employee benefits such as annual leave
  2. Nationally recognised qualification- During their time on the programme apprentices work towards gaining nationally recognised qualifications. The level of these vary from level 2 all the way to level 7.
  3. No student debt- Apprentices do not have to pay for tuition fees meaning there is no debt to worry about. For the duration of the course, apprentices are also eligible for student discounts.
  4. High-quality training – Off-the-job learning is delivered by industry experts in a traditional classroom setting as well as practical hands-on training creates an optimal learning environment.
  5. Improves career prospects – During on-the-job learning apprentices can connect with people who have been in the sector for a while and build professional relationships which will help accelerate their career after the program.

Click here for more information on Apprentiship pathways