Young People In Print group launches

A new group called ‘Young People In Print’ has been established to bridge the gap between education and the world of print.

The group has been formed by: Elizabeth Bowerman, head of UK sales at Stephen Austin; Joanna Stephenson of PHD Marketing; Paul Stead of ASL; Kelvin Bell of VPress; Lucy Swanston of SMP and Nutshell Creative; and Delroy Simmons of Dayfold. The aim is to deliver events at UK-based printing facilities for groups of students from local schools and universities, flagging up print as a potential career choice. The first event will take place in London on 14 March.

Bowerman, a long-term advocate of the need to attract young talent into the industry to ensure the future success of the sector, said: “We are reaching out to schools and universities to enable students to see for themselves how amazing the print and packaging industries really are.

“The number of tradespeople working in print is plummeting - by 73% between 2006 and 2021 according to the latest [BPIF] data. Workers are approaching retirement and there is a risk their skills will be lost, which could have serious consequences for our industry if not mitigated.”

Bowerman added: “Sadly, our industry has an old-fashioned image, and there is very limited print or packaging education available today, apart from print apprenticeships, but even then, not all printers are using their levy to fund employees.” She cited negative environmental perceptions and competition from better-publicised industries like aviation, engineering, automotive and biotech, among other barriers to encouraging young people to the sector.

“YPIP has been established to promote the industry as a far more dynamic, high-tech, innovative, connected, and exciting place to work with clear career progression routes and opportunities.”


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