Photographic processing assistants work in the photofinishing industry, either in photographic laboratories or specialist shops. They process film and produce photographic prints from negatives. They may also work on developed prints and transparencies and copy artwork, such as designs or drawings, onto transparencies.
Photographic processing assistants can be employed either developing and printing laboratories or professional laboratories. In large developing and printing laboratories, photographic assistants deal with amateur film, such as holiday and family snapshots. Negatives and prints are sent by individual customers or via photographic shops to the laboratory. The assistants use high-tech machinery to process the film. They need to be confident in using computers, as laboratories use sophisticated equipment for electronic imaging, video scanning and image manipulation.
In professional developing and printing laboratories, photographic assistants deal with the work of professional photographers and business organisations. This work requires a higher standard of finishing and printing.
Some professional laboratories provide a range of services, such as:
Schooling & School Subjects
There are no formal education requirements for relevant training courses though some training would be an asset. Physical Sciences and Art would be useful subjects.
There are 3 ways to qualify as a registered artisan:
1. An apprenticeship is a fixed contract between company and apprentice, ranging in duration from between 18 months and 4 years. At the end of the contract, the apprentice writes a trade test leading to professional certification.
2. A learnership is a structured learning programme ranging from about a year to 3 years. A learnership comprises theoretical and practical training. Practical training is conducted on site (on the premises of the organisation). This has the advantage that the learner gets experience whilst training.
3. TVET colleges offer theoretical training to prospective artisans via the new National Certificate Vocational (NCV). During this 3-year programme (levels 2 to 4), learners complete a school-leaving certificate (NCV) similar to the new National Senior Certificate (NSC) in schools. They are also exposed to a practical workshop component.
All learners are required to complete a practical internship under the supervision of an experienced artisan. As an alternative to doing the full qualification, a learner can apply to do a skills programme at a TVET College. Skills programmes are short practical hands-on courses.
For more information about qualifications and skills programmes, contact your nearest TVET College. TVET Colleges are accredited and funded by a SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) such as MerSETA or ChietaSETA. They also receive bursary funding through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for the NCV programme.
Printing Industries Federation of SA
P O Box 1396
Gallo Manor, 2052
113 - 115 Bowling Avenue
Gallo Manor, 2191
Tel: (011) 287-1160 Fax: (011) 287-1178