Wed, Jul

On a learning curve

Fespa UK and the BPIF are together undertaking a survey to find out what the large-format sector wants in terms of training - and what we can do to stimulate careers within print. You can help, as Fespa UK director Suzi Wilkinson explains.

The print industry is a vibrant, diverse, and an exciting place to work. We know it, but few others seem to. That needs to change, and Fespa UK is working with the BPIF - via a new Display and POS sector interest group - on how to better educate people about the vast array of roles available within this industry.

Part of this project is to first try and understand what printers find frustrating when it comes to in-house training, such as apprenticeships. What do the current offerings lack? How can they be adapted to make them more relevant to this print sector? What do you feel about the available funding, and the fees involved with current training? Is it worth the time and investment, or is it all just a waste of time and precious resources?

The Display and POS sector interest group is undertaking a very short survey, to garner PSP insights and provide the working party with an initial view of what those of you in the UK print community think - what challenges there are, and what you want to see happen in terms of further education within print?

We are strongly encouraging any UK-based printers who want to boost the variety of talent coming into the industry, to complete the survey, which is made up of 12 questions. It will take no more than five minutes, but will generate invaluable insight.

Following the results of the survey, we will then be moving forward to engage with schools, colleges, and other training providers, to work alongside them to develop further educational courses that are tailor-made to suit print.

Furthermore, with hundreds of printers paying into the training levy and not using their full entitlement, they can now gift this allowance to smaller non levy paying print businesses, to enable them to upskill their current workforce and to bring on new staff to train in house with apprenticeships.

At Fespa UK we truly believe that developing the educational offering is only one side of the story - the most important thing is understanding and communicating with the younger generation on a level that they find what we do interesting. How many people have said they wanted a career as a print finisher when they left school? Or they desperately wanted to work on a 5m-wide print machine? No-one!

Print is everywhere, yet print is the best kept secret when it comes to anyone not involved in the business. It’s time we let the cat out of the bag and started shouting about how fantastic and creative and innovative this industry is - and that is what Fespa UK and the BPIF are on a mission to do.

The BPIF’s recently created Display and POS sector interest group aims to support, sustain and develop the sector. This group has been specifically formed to bring together like-minded businesses and individuals and to look at issues that are directly affecting them on a day-to-day business. It is an opportunity to knowledge share, celebrate success and pro-actively promote the great work that is done in this sector. This group is currently focusing on sector specific training (as well as other topics) to gain first-hand insight and requirements from companies in the sector, along with support from other initiatives and experts. Fespa UK sees this as a great opportunity to work together with the BPIF to broaden both associations’ knowledge base and resources.

Please take a few minutes to fill in the survey and help us support your business. Go to: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SectorTrainingNeeds

Our long-term vision will require support from the print community, to allow us to visit schools and colleges for career open days, with a view to demonstrating the breadth of opportunities within the industry, opening young people’s eyes to the variety of career paths from estimating, buying, design, print operators, chemists (ink formulation), etc. But for now please complete the survey and help us to make a start to bring new talent into the print community.

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