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Ten learners. Four companies. One industry.


“There is huge value in studying these principles with a group of leaders from the same industry.”

Ruth Cobb, the CEO of Print NZ (the association for the print, packaging and visual communication industries), partnered with Upskills to deliver a leadership programme for members. Ruth said,

“Team Leadership is an important skill, but it isn’t something people just know.  We are good at taking our best tradespeople and workers and promoting them into roles of responsibility without always understanding that there is another set of skills they need to take that step. We wanted to provide the opportunity to the industry to upskill their staff in those positions.”

Print NZ Leadership courseWe delivered the programme over 44 hours using both online and face-to-face learning. The group covered topics such as,

    • leadership styles
    •  communication
    • conflict management
    • time management
    •  delegation
    • effective meetings and presentation skills.

The participants could share their industry experiences and learning throughout their careers. They applied what they learnt in real-time, with many reflecting on the impact of using new tools each week.

“This has been a real partnership between Print NZ, the companies involved and us here at Upskills”

Sarah Balfour, Upskills Director

“We teamed with Upskills because they are an experienced provider of the training and could deliver this in a format that would work for the group.”

Ruth Cobb

Being from the same industry allowed the group to form a network of people who understood the challenges and opportunities. It meant they were all learning from each other and could see the bigger picture, as people were from different parts of the print industry. They could hear first-hand why something challenged them and what that meant for their space. The learners said they gained value in studying the topics within a group from the same industry. Their common ground increased engagement and collaboration throughout.

“The ability to discuss principles with industry peers and apply them to industry-specific scenarios has helped me to implement leadership strategies directly into the workplace and see benefits in real-time.”

Print NZ Leadership course

The programme also included delivering a project as part of an assessment. Participants needed to show their objectives, stakeholder communication, problem-solving, decision-making, evaluation skills, and the incorporation of diversity, equity and inclusion. These change projects were a real highlight of the programme and have had lasting effects on their businesses. These innovations ranged from implementing new software to changing or starting processes, purchasing new equipment, and sustainability initiatives.

“The outcomes of the projects they undertook all provided tangible benefits to the businesses they work for. It was great to see the work they had put into their projects, the real outcomes delivered and the 100% completion rate of the course.”

Ruth Cobb

Print NZ Leadership Course

All the learners completed the course and gained a Level 3 Certificate in Business (Team Leadership). Their achievements were honoured at the industry awards evening in May 2024.

Their facilitator, Mel Hori, was there for the evening and commented,

“It was a great way to connect with the group again and hear how their journeys were going. I was privileged to be a part of this group of highly engaged, motivated and connected individuals. It was also humbling to be invited to their awards ceremony and celebrate their achievements again.”

The programme was so successful, that we look forward to starting our second cohort with PrintNZ in the coming weeks. PrintNZ is an industry association that cares about growing its people and what a group of people they have.


“The learning has helped me to challenge my thinking and communicate more openly. I will use this to encourage cooperation, build trust and avoid misunderstandings.”

“I will use what I have learned by applying leadership skills, emotional intelligence and a newfound confidence in myself and knowing that it’s okay to ask for help.”

“I’ve had such an amazing experience doing this course. I couldn’t possibly try to better it.”

Print NZ Leadership Course

Upskills Ltd.

Address: 93 Church St, Onehunga, Auckland 1061
Free parking: 120 minutes, Gerrard Beeson Pl.
Phone: 09 622 3979