Reviews have been very positive for an entry level Graphic Installation Technician upskilling training course Work Based Learning Consortium (WBLC) developed for the sign industry in 2023, working with the Sign Association of Canada and individual sign companies across the country.

The Graphic Installation Technician Upskilling program was given to trainees in nine locations across Canada, from British Columbia to Nova Scotia – ranging from smaller, remote communities to urban settings. The multiple location approach was deliberately done to gauge both the effectiveness of the training and as well as the ability to deliver graphic training across the country in both large and small communities.

Delivered to Smaller Communities Across Canada

WBLC’s hybrid e-learning program enables technicians in smaller communities to train without having to worry about incurring high travel costs and more days away from their busy shop to access training, which can be common in smaller communities. WBLC’s hybrid learning programs typically include interactive e-learning, e-instructions, train the technical trainer, shop floor hands-on assignments, technical language training, on-the-job training, monitor coaching and certification.

Dramatic change after graphics applied to wall

“I thought it was good and definitely learned things,” says Brandon Pullin, a sign installer for TDH Experimental Fabrications in Surrey, B.C. “It gave a lot of valuable information and was very useful.”

Pullin explains that they do a lot of work with vinyl in creating signs and he greatly benefited from this upskilling program.

“Some of the information that I found very useful dealt with different types of vinyls, such as what vinyls can go together and what vinyls can’t go together, as well as details about the temperatures for applications. Some of that content I never knew before,” says Pullin.

Pullin notes that he tried unsuccessfully doing some work with vinyl in January. After he took the WBLC upskilling program, he realized that “it was a waste our time trying to apply vinyl in those times of years” because of the temperatures.

Kenny St. Croix, an 18-year sign industry veteran with Trim-Line United Sign in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, also was interested in the newly created WBLC Graphic Installation Technician training.

“Really good (upskilling program for) someone getting into the business or a good introduction to the graphic installation world”  – Kenny St. Croix, Trim-Line United Sign, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

“I received a text message from my General Manager asking if I was interested and I thought you can never have too much knowledge,” explains St. Croix. “It was a good course and I felt it would be really good for someone getting into the business or a good introduction to the graphic installation world.”

He was interested in some programs and tools that were mentioned in the training that he hadn’t heard about before.

“There was mention of a couple of software applications and tools that I hadn’t seen — items that we didn’t use, so I was able to learn things about those applications,” says St. Croix. He also found it a useful refresher and thought the pace of the program was good.

“I think (the training pace) moved well and the quick tests were all pretty cool,” he adds.

Receives High Marks

In a general survey, the Graphic Installation Technician training received high marks from participants for conveying the fundamental skills to feel comfortable and confident in working in graphic installation. The presentation, exercises, quizzes and use of pictures, videos and animations were ranked as very useful or essential in the training.

“We’re very pleased with the feedback regarding the Graphic Installation Technician training,” adds Wayne Lamon, Director, Programs, WBLC. “Many noted that it teaches key fundamentals and, for some of the trainees, training via e-Learning was something new.

“This is a powerful new tool that the sign industry can use to train entry level staff. It utilizes techniques, content and e-Learning that is new to some in this industry, that has proven to be highly effective in other industries we’ve served,” adds Lamon. “Its exciting to offer new ways of training to an established industry that is seeking to add new people to the profession.”