Times Media Academy will launch in January 2013, with its first training module aimed at strengthening skills in the understanding of the print industry. Times Media will cover the full costs of hosting course applicants from tertiary institutions and creative agencies who wish to strengthen the quality of print work they deliver.
The first module will be aimed at new entrants to the industry, as well as staff who may benefit from a skills refresher in the print medium.
Shaun Philips, Times Media's national operations manager will deliver the key 'primer' - an intensive industry synopsis, analysis of statistics and their application in directing companies in optimal investment in print.
Advanced modules will be rolled out to cater for more experienced staff with more advanced needs.
Need for skills
Print remains the most popular format for information delivery to South Africans and understanding the market and production processes is therefore vital.
"We are starting the Academy in response to industry calls to upgrade the skills set of clients and agencies that manage print campaigns. Often graduates enter agencies with cursory knowledge of AMPS and SAARF measurements, never really understanding their implications and role in driving creative output and ad placement," says Trevor Ormerod, GM advertising sales & strategic communications, Times Media.
"We also realise that lack of technical training on the fundamentals and nuances of the print process is slowing agencies in their desire to execute excellence for their clients. As such, we're answering a need, and actively prioritising engagement with tertiary institutions as well."
The group has also recognised the necessity for transformation of the skills-base within the industry, and the Academy serves to arm new creative graduates with expertise previously reserved for print stalwarts.
The course content has been developed in consultation with the industry's leading media and creative directors.
"The Academy allows individuals within agencies to further develop themselves as an asset to their employer and clients, with a specialisation that enhances their market value and marketability," concludes Ormerod.
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