UPDATE 2023: The time and size of the Technician school for 2023 has not yet been confirmed. Some more info can be read in the 2023 update article. We hope to have a class a few months later than 2022 and perhaps with a smaller attendance. Read bellow for the text for the 2022 class:
We have good news: the Camera Rescue technician class of 2022 will begin in early April.
Before we go into the content of this year's class and who can apply, let's have a quick update of what is going on with the school. Also, as a side note, if you want to work in the analog photography sector, but not as a technical person, there are marketing and sales positions available here to apply to now.
Our main goal at Camera Rescue is to keep alive the knowledge needed to upkeep film cameras for the next generations. To make that a reality, we have started to amass all kinds of manuals, repair machinery and probably the biggest spare part inventory in the world. However camera repairs is much less about the parts and technical drawings, but more about mastering the craft. Under the supervision of our Master Jukka, the center in Tampere has a team of three camera mechanics, three camera mechanic apprentices (two from the class of 2021) and six camera technicians working full time. This accumulation of knowhow at full pay is possible through the project's continuous work with Kamerastore.com.
For clarification - a camera technician is someone who tests cameras and finds out what functions don't work and a camera mechanic is someone who repairs cameras. It is a bit like there are general practitioner doctors that assess a person's condition, but don't go poking around a person with sharp tools and there are surgeons who focus only on poking around a person with sharp tools.
However, even with twelve people working on camera testing and repair full time, the need is much bigger both here in Finland and worldwide. That's why we aim to keep building a curriculum for camera repairs and make it more approachable by each class we have.
Some things, however, are already clear after five years of moving the knowledge forward:
Every person aspiring to become a master in camera repairs, needs to first start with the basics.
The basics are learnt by being a camera technician.
Camera technician basic theory can be gone through in a few months, but most of the knowhow is learnt by testing thousands of different types of cameras.
With a strong camera technician background, one can be mentored by a Master into a good camera mechanic in a few years.
So, hopefully with this base of knowledge you can now understand why it is big news that we are opening up the class of 2022 for international applicants too! For the first time one can start their guided educational journey towards becoming a camera repair professional, from outside of Finland.
Here is the plan
The camera technician class of 2022 should be very similar to the class of 2021, but just with a bit more international atmosphere and with a better understanding from the teaching staff of what theory is needed and in what order it should be taught.
The basic structure involves roughly a month of theory and learning testing techniques in the beginning of the 6 month training. The next three months of general technician training are done by mixing practice, theory and hundreds of camera models under the mentorship of our experienced technicians. During months five and six each student focuses on being able to work as a camera technician independently. Also the last months can involve some teaching from camera mechanics, if the student aims to become one - many choose to stay as technicians.
The technician class aims for all studies to lead to work opportunities. The bigger questions are where will you be employed - in Finland or around the world - and by whom.
From the 8 students of the class of 2021, 6 have been employed in the sector since then in Finland. Internationally, our internship program has been even a bigger success, with almost all of the long time interns having worked full time on analog photography related businesses or endeavors.
The class will have 8 student positions.
Four will be reserved to residents of Finland that qualify for Yksilöllinen rekrytointikoulutus.
The other four will be available for people or companies around the world. However, because of visa regulations the four positions will most likely be filled by people who have the right to stay in Finland for 6 months without lengthy immigration processes. Also, there might be some travel restrictions due to the pandemic, so do take those into account.
Yes, the previous paragraph also mentioned companies. Even though the Camera Rescue project has relied on Kamerastore.com as the main sponsor for years, we don't want to keep the knowledge only in Finland. The challenge worldwide is so huge that the intention has always been for us to be a global project of sharing knowhow. So other companies are just as welcome to send their staff or prodigies to learn.
If you are a Finnish resident and applying through the official channels, the class will be free and you will get your unemployment coverage during the whole time.
If you are applying as an international there are a few options:
Get the whole training + accomodation + travels for free
As nothing this extensive is really free - this model would be a sponsorship from either the project or Kamerastore. It applies to applicants that would like a future in Finland or working for the sponsor after the class has passed.
Get the whole training for free
This would be a suitable model for a solo entrepreneur that would like to partner with the project after the training.
Pay for the training + accommodation
The main model for businesses wanting to send their own staff to be trained. Costs will be determined on a case by case basis, by how much involvement with the project the business wishes to have in the long run.
You can choose one or apply for sponsorship during the interview process.
Timetables for process
2.2.2022 - Application form and information revealed
2.2.-20.2.22 - International Application period
21-25.2.22 - Interviews
TBA - Official Finnish applications to be submitted
4.4.22 - Class of 2022 starts
30.9.22 - Class of 2022 ends