Baroness Dean

Baroness Dean

We are saddened to hear that Baroness Dean has passed away and extend our deepest sympathy to her family.

Baroness Dean started her working life in the Trade Union movement and was subsequently elected General Secretary of the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades (SOGAT), the printing, publishing and paper trades’ union. She was created a life Peer in 1993 and a member of the Privy Council in 1998.

A tremendous supporter of The Printing Charity, she said she was proud to be our 2017 President, continuing her association with the industry.

For the past six years, Baroness Dean very kindly hosted our annual Print Futures Awards event at the House of Lords, saying that it renewed her faith in the industry to see so many young people joining a very old industry but one that is now wide-ranging with modern technologies. Welcoming winners of Print Futures Awards to the industry, she said: “Once printing is in your blood, it never leaves you.”

Residents at Beaverbrook House, our sheltered home in Bletchley for retired people with a print connection, swapped stories with Baroness Dean of working in the industry when she visited the home. She said at the time: “It’s like walking down memory lane today as I’ve got a connection with all of you through the printing industry and The Printing Charity.”

We will remember Baroness Dean as an inspirational advocate of the printing industry and a true friend of the charity.


The Stationers Foundation and The Printing Charity continue to support the BPIF Masters Programme with a Bursary of £6000

Students looking to undertake the BPIF MSc in Management can apply to have a significant amount of their fees paid, thanks to a £6000 bursary from The Stationers’ Foundation, funded by The Printing Charity.

The Foundation, which forms the charitable arm of The Stationers’ Company, are offering the Postgraduate Bursary Scheme to either a single student or to be shared between several students for whom funding would be a barrier.

The Stationers’ Company, which has a 600 year history of promoting, regulating and protecting those in the paper, print, publishing, packaging, office products, newspaper, broadcasting and online media industries, makes charitable giving to education a large part of its work. In conjunction with its industry partners it offers up to 15 bursaries a year and mentoring to students on specific courses that support entry to and progression within these sectors.

The Printing Charity have been helping people of all ages working in printing, publishing and packaging since 1827. Their origins were – and remain in – welfare, but over the years their work has grown to include support for education and training. Their education funding now benefits almost 500 individuals a year.

The MSc, run in partnership with the Management Development Centre, is aimed at those in print with at least 5 years’ experience in a management role, or with full membership of a professional institute wanting to take their leadership skills to the next level. As the natural next step after undertaking the BPIF Level 5 Leadership and Management Course, it usually costs £6280 + VAT to complete.

The course, which can be completed in as little as twelve months if students are full members of a professional institute, is a fast-track top up Masters designed to provide minimal disruption to the working week. Alongside a dissertation and two residential weekends a year, students are supported through the MDC’s online support group.

BPIF Programme Director, Ursula Daly, said, “The BPIF are delighted about this continued funding opportunity in collaboration with the Stationers’ Company and The Printing Charity. This is about enabling the great people in our industry to reach their full potential, and the MSc helps us to do just that. It’s a stimulating course which encourages a whole new way of thinking for those already in management positions, while building on skills already learned in their careers. I’d encourage anyone thinking of doing the course to apply for the bursary if finance is in any way a barrier.”

The funding, which also considers the academic potential of applicants, is available for the academic year starting in October 2018. The closing date for applications is 24 May 2018, so applications should be made as soon as possible. Applicants who are shortlisted will then be interviewed at Stationers’ Hall, London. Successful recipients of the funding will also have the opportunity to be mentored by an appropriate Stationers’ Company member.

For more information about the BPIF MSc in Management or how to apply for the funding, contact Ursula Daly,, 07921 259 254. Applications should be sent to Ursula Daly, BPIF, St Bride Foundation, Bride Lane, London, EC4Y 8EQ or via email to

For more information about the Stationers’ Company, visit

The industry spoke and Government listened

The industry has come together and achieved a great result. Over the past few years, plenty of time and effort has been dedicated to the Print Trailblazer – a new employer-defined standard for apprenticeship programmes –  and these standards have now been approved by the Government.

The history

The Print Trailblazer proposal was first submitted to the Government in July 2014 but was unfortunately unsuccessful. However, feedback confirmed that it was a strong proposal which was clearly employer-led. Continued lobbying for Government support of apprenticeships resulted in a resubmission in February 2015 where James Buffoni of Ryedale Group and the Chair of the consortium lead a group of print employers and leading sector organisations, including the BPIF, in designing the new Print Apprenticeship Standards for Pre-Press Operator, Press Operator and Post-Press Operator.

By November 2016, Trailblazer standards for Level 3 and level 5 were approved and were launched by the BPIF in early 2017. However, challenges were again thrown in the direction of the Print Trailblazer Consortium and in February 2017 a call for support was made to the industry in order to help ensure single standard apprenticeships did not reduce levels of expertise in the industry.

Throughout 2017, the Trailblazer Consortium, whose members include the BPIF, Unite the Union, Ryedale Group, Oxuniprint, BCQ Group, CDi, Multi Packaging Solutions, Westferry Printers, Page Bros, De La Rue and The Printing Charity, continued to press its case for an appropriate approach to the new Print Apprenticeship Standards, which would replace the existing Frameworks. A further call to the industry for views resulted in a strong response, all supporting the employer-led consortium’s approach.

The Institute for Apprenticeship (IFA) had by now given initial feedback that it had listened after meeting with the Consortium’s Chair, James Buffoni and Vice Chair, Ian Wilton of Oxuniprint, and would support the ‘core plus options’ approach. A final call for feedback and support was issued in September 2017.

A great result

The Print Trailblazer has now been approved by Government. The scheme has helped to clarify three main points: firstly a confident message about why contemporary print is attractive – showing young people that contemporary print is alive and kicking. Secondly, it clarifies the journey that fresh, young talent and employers can make to work together successfully in three specific print roles. Thirdly, the Trailblazer standard plugs that gap by identifying – in plain English – what skills, knowledge and behaviours that a young person would need to succeed in that role.

James Buffoni commented, “The team have now successfully highlighted the core skills, knowledge and behaviours required by future apprentices. Thank you to everyone involved – this has been a rigorous process that has required perseverance from everyone involved. We can now move towards the creation of durable and practical delivery and assessment criteria which will help future apprentices and employers forge a meaningful career path.”

In much agreement with James, Ian Wilton said, “What a great end to a very long journey… The print industry and the BPIF have been very vocal in what they believe is right for the industry and the end result is we have an apprenticeship scheme that is exactly what was required. Once the end assessment criteria has evolved it will result in individuals that will take this wonderful industry we are in forward for future generations. Well done to everyone who has been involved in this, it really has been an industry-wide effort.”

Ursula Daly, Programme Director BPIF, finalised “Thank you to the consortium and to the industry for their support and perseverance, whilst this is a great milestone to have achieved we now need to forge ahead with producing an assessment plan and getting that approved before providers can start delivering under the new standard.

This is a fantastic example of the industry coming together with passion and dedication, ending in an extremely positive result, however there is still work to be done!


For more information, please contact Amy Hutchinson at

BCQ Group hosts visit for retired printers

BCQ Group hosts visit for retired printers

Retired printers with apprentice, Jack Carter, at BCQ Group


Four retired printers living at The Printing Charity’s sheltered home, Beaverbrook House, recently visited BCQ Group in Buckinghamshire to gain an insight into what print looks like today.

Over tea and biscuits, Chris Knowles, Managing Director of BCQ Group, showed the residents a promotional video to give them a flavour of the work the company undertakes. This was followed by a tour of the printing facilities, including the Pre-press Department, print floor, and production offices. Chris explained each of the processes from litho and offset litho to digital, as well as the finishing processes to show the end products’ complete journey.

The residents engaged with staff, including two young apprentices, Aaron Toombs and Jack Carter, who previously visited Beaverbrook House in October 2017. They shared an insight into their day-to-day activities as apprentices in training.

Knowledge and experiences were shared throughout the morning as the residents reminisced about their time in the printing industry. They commented on how clean everything seemed and the impressive working conditions, with one resident saying that “it makes you want to go back to work”.

Chris Knowles said: “BCQ Group was delighted to host some of the residents of Beaverbrook House. It was great to see the retired printers alongside our young apprentices again, talking, and demonstrating some of today’s state of the art printing processes.  Our staff also enjoyed hearing about the Beaverbrook House residents’ own memories from their careers in print.  We look forward to meeting them again soon.”

Neil Lovell, The Printing Charity’s Chief Executive, added: “The charity is in a unique position of being able to bring together different generations in print to learn from each other. The generations sharing experience is to be celebrated in the industry. We would like to thank BCQ Group for hosting such a terrific visit for the retired printers from Beaverbrook House.”

One of the retired printers commented after the visit: “To speak to the apprentices and staff about the print trade and exchange experiences that still link an older generation to the latest generation was very uplifting, a good day all round.”

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