In mid-June, the best up-and-coming offset printers from Estonia, Finland, Canada, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany trained at the Print Media Center of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) to limber up for the international WorldSkills 2013 competition in Leipzig at the beginning of July. They included Elena Singer, who had beaten seven other competitors in the German final. She will represent Germany at the 42nd WorldSkills competition from July 2 to 7 in Leipzig.
Eight of the finalists trained at the Heidelberg Print Media Center, the company's recently revamped customer demonstration center. "High-end printing is important and will continue to be so in the future. Since highly qualified personnel are essential to the print media industry, we are only too happy to support WorldSkills once again this year," says Bernhard Nahm, a senior executive at the Heidelberg Print Media Center who worked with the finalists during their intensive five-day training period.
Training took place on Speedmaster SX 52 presses and Linoprint C digital printing systems. "The Speedmaster SM/SX 52 is the most popular training press and is ideal for preparing these young people for the tough demands of the competition. This small-format press is on a par with our large-format machines in terms of technical equipment and automation," continues Nahm, who will assess the young printers' skills as a member of the judging panel in Leipzig.
The aim of the training was to offer participants the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the equipment they would be using prior to the actual contest. The focus during the training week was therefore on mastering the operating concept and printing sample products.
At the international WorldSkills competition in Leipzig, over 1,000 young people from more than 60 member states of the WorldSkills organization will be pitting their skills against each other in 45 key occupations in the trade, industrial, and service sectors.
Heidelberg is a founding member of WorldSkills Germany e. V. and its support covers both Germany's national final and the international competition in Leipzig. For the latter, it will be providing two Speedmaster SM 52-4 offset presses, two Linoprint C digital printing systems, and a Polar cutter. This year, Heidelberg is also a "skill presenter" for the printing technology category.