The original Ian Karten Centre (IKC) at Treloar College was set up in September 2001 to provide a real working environment in which to offer a range of qualifications. Known externally as ‘TreloarPrint’ for marketing purposes, this successful and popular enterprise provides a high-quality printing and finishing service at competitive rates for a wide range of customers. The IKC provides traditional printed products – including business cards, letterheads, compliment slips, booklets, manuals, newsletters, flyers and posters, calendars, menus, greeting cards, postcards, invitations, leaflets, envelopes and labels. The students carry out mailshots for customers where appropriate. The Centre also offers a design service for more straightforward products and has an excellent reputation for miles around.
The IKC allows our students to undertake vocational courses in a real, supportive working environment; specifically, our students can undertake City & Guilds qualifications. In turn, they provide the students with genuine work experience to enhance their work-based understanding, team working and problem solving as well as the development of communication and literacy, ICT, numeracy, and other employability, practical and social skills. The enterprise enables our students to increase their knowledge and understanding of work at the same time as engaging in a real business that generates a surplus which is channelled back into the business.
Whether acting as the receptionist for the IKC, taking incoming calls from customers, preparing quotes and seeing a print job through to completion and delivery our students are actively engaged in a spectrum of job roles. These work experience opportunities both prepare them for life beyond Treloar’s at the same time as building their confidence and self-esteem as they put the skills they have learnt at Treloar’s into practice.
New booklet-making machine
We have been able to develop the IKC over the years with the generous support of The Karten Network together with our own investment. In 2018 we identified an urgent need for a new booklet-maker and were thrilled when The Karten Network agreed to generously provide funding towards a new machine. This new booklet-maker replaced the old one which was over 5 years old, not very accessible for our students, and was becoming unreliable which, given our ever-increasing customer base, was no longer able to meet all customer requests.
We were delighted to take delivery of the new booklet-maker in October 2018 which is more accessible for our students, produces better quality booklets quicker, enables us to produce larger booklets and has better paper handling and consistency.
About 80% of the students who currently work and train in the IKC now have the capability to use the new machine and it enables them to take a much more active part in the printing process, including:
- Programming the machine.
- Controlling the operation of the machine.
- Effectively producing completed and trimmed booklets.
- More readily removing sets of completed booklets from the machine and package them up.
Students are now able to produce a greater range of printed materials more cost-effectively and to a higher standard. By using the new booklet-maker they are being trained to operate the latest printing machinery and learn new skills which they can apply to the world of work after they leave Treloar’s. Furthermore, as less staff and student time is needed per print job, they can be released to do other tasks, resulting in more efficient use of staff time and a greater variety of tasks for students. A huge success all round!
Toby using the new booklet-maker
One of our students, Toby has been getting to work using the new booklet-making machine to help create 150 booklets for a local church. You can see how easy it is for him in his wheelchair to have the controlling PC at a very accessible height. Toby is also pressing the ‘go’ button to set it all running. Both of these tasks would have been impossible for him with the old machine. He is also able to retrieve the finished booklets as they come out. Here are Toby’s thoughts on the booklet-maker – “The booklet-maker is very good at helping us make good booklets. It is pretty accessible because the controller is on an arm which can come towards me so I can control the buttons.”
The booklet maker machine has been hard at work and is already completing around 20 large jobs a month. Our customers have been delighted with the booklets which have been created on the machine and the following are some of their comments:
- Church History Booklets: “Thank you very much. We collected the booklets this morning and they are superbly printed! Thanks again for your excellent service.”
- Poetry Booklets: “Thank you! I am very, very happy. Be very proud! Will bring a cheque in later in the week.”
“We would like to express our gratitude and thanks to The Karten Network for generously providing funding towards the new booklet-maker machine. We were rapidly outgrowing our old system and found that it was totally inaccessible for our students and struggled to cope with our demands. The new machine is much more accessible for our students in wheelchairs and allows us to tackle more complex jobs as well as cope readily with the typical day-to-day bulk newsletters and the like. Best of all it provides even more learning opportunities for our students – thank you for making this possible” Jerry Cullum, Coordinator TreloarPrint.
All at Treloar’s are exceptionally grateful for the ongoing generosity of The Karten Network which has allowed us to set-up and maintain this IKC as an excellent learning model for our students. We very much hope you enjoy reading the enclosed report and the positive impact the recent equipment so generously funded by The Karten Network is having on our truly inspirational students.
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