The two-week initiative, developed by the university’s Graphical and Digital Media department, is designed for students at the top of their university class. It focuses on the production of flexible packaging, including design, prepress, file handling and plate making operations. The course was held at Esko’s headquarter offices in Ghent, Belgium, June 18 to 29.
During the detailed and professional training, students got to grips with the technological and practical aspects and learnt how to streamline packaging production from design to printing plate. The group of students is composed from Artevelde University College in Ghent, as well as peer students from the School of Engineering and Management, Switzerland, and both Seneca College and Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.
Jan De Roeck, Director Solutions Management at Esko explains: “We were very proud to welcome the most ambitious and most talented students of international packaging universities for the fourth time. As leaders in the packaging industry, we are investing in the future by supporting the professional education of these young graduates. A mix of theoretical classes, hands on workshop and customer production environment visits give them an in-depth 360 view on flexography.”
Building for success
The Honours Class is designed to inspire and engage students. This approach worked well with the former attendees that now work in the industry.
Bastiaan Heyse, order guidance and calculation (internal sales) in the flat cardboard department, St-Luc, comments: “after an internship at St-Luc Labels & Packaging, it seemed like a great opportunity to learn more on the packaging industry during this Honours Class. I found the company visits and learning more about the Esko solutions very interesting. We could see how everything fits together and works in a real business.”
Jochen Verbrugghe, Commercial Assistant at Crea Print Group, says The Honors Class gave him the opportunity to get to know Esko’s tools more intimately including WebCenter Automation Engine and Studio Visualizer: “The packaging industry is very diverse and work is never the same. Meeting deadlines, supporting customers with optimization and streamlining packaging set up requirements are just of few of the processes you can manage smartly while offering added value to the customer.”
Applying for the Honour Class
Students in the academic year prior to graduation are welcome to apply for one of the 20 Honours Class seats. To be accepted, students must have a mastery of Adobe® Creative Suite applications and a general understanding of prepress production steps, processes, and functions. Students who are approved for the program, will be invited to complete and submit preparatory work in order to fully prepare for the program.
Luc Berth, lector at the Artevelde University College Ghent and mentor of the Honours Class concludes: “The Honours Class is a great platform for both technical as well as cultural and social experience-based learning. The students deepened competences relevant for a competitive and rewarding career in the packaging industry and learned how to cooperate in an international context. They exchanged knowledge and best practices in an open and friendly atmosphere.”
At the end of the training, students received a certificate of participation, a valuable advantage when applying for a job in this sector. In some countries, students can also receive training credits by attending the Honours Class.
Adds Berth: “Apart from the broad and basic training, students receive via their regular curriculum the value of the Honours Class in Flexible Packaging can’t be underestimated. Forty percent of the participating students of Artevelde University College start building a career in a packaging company right after receiving their certificate.”