The commercial printing industry is one of the most economically important and technologically advanced industrial sectors in Canada. The commercial printing industry comprises a number of sub sectors, which include commercial screen printing, quick printing, digital printing, manifold business forms printing and “other” printing such as lithographic, bank notes, magazines and stationery printing. It also includes “support activities for printing” that provide services to commercial printers such as pre-press and bindery work.
Not a single day goes by without the average person coming into contact with printed matter -from food labels, books, newspapers, magazines, catalogues, telephone directories, diaries and annual reports to bonds, currency, stamps, credit cards, passports, leaflets, diplomas and posters, just to name a few.
Canada’s printing industry is the fourth largest manufacturing employer in the nation with more than 98,000 employees, who work in 5500 establishments from St. John’s to Victoria. Small firms dominate Canada’s commercial printing industry, with 75% of companies in the industry employing fewer than 20 employees. Less than 3% employ more than 100 employees.
Printing machine operators, camera, platework and similar pre-press occupations and bindery and finishing machine operators make up the largest group of employees in the printing industry. Camera, platemaking and similar pre-press occupations as well as binding and finishing machine operators require a college program in graphic arts technology or an apprenticeship, or a combination of on-the-job training and specialized courses.