“Print is a truly exciting sector to be in”

“Print is a truly exciting sector to be in”

Our Rising Star Awards help young talent in the sector further their careers with grants of up to £1500 to help fund training for their personal and professional development. We spoke to Samuel Price, Sales Office Manager at Platinum Print, to find out a bit more about his role, the impact his award has had on his skillset, and his plans for the future. 

What does your current role involve day to day? 

I started at Platinum as an estimator in October 2018, where I quickly took to understanding large format print alongside other printing and finishing techniques on both the Litho and Digital side. In late 2019 I was appointed Sales Office Supervisor and I am now in the role of Sales Office Manager. Essentially, this role involves managing a team of estimators who deal with all of the incoming enquiries into our business, order processing, as well as project management.

What did your award allow you to do?

Gaining a Rising Star Award this year allowed me to pursue a course in Personal Leadership Development which has totally changed my perception of how I work and what the most effective ways of working are in a managerial role. 

What skills do you feel that you’ve learnt from taking the course? 

I feel I have strengthened a number of skills but mainly I would say my existing communication, delegation, accountability, time management and people management skills, if I had to name a few! These all play an important part in my role as a manager so I’m really glad the course helped me to develop across the board. 

What differences have you noticed in your work since completing the course?

I feel like I am much better at dealing with difficult situations, conflict and other behaviours alike. I truly believe the course which I completed has helped me to not only be a better member of the team in my organisation, but also a better member of society.

What are your aspirations for the future of your career? 

I feel like I am on a good upward trend at the moment with where my career is going, so I’d say to keep on the direction it is moving in, continuing to progress to the next stage in my career by achieving personal and business milestones.

Do you have any advice for other people looking at print as a career choice? 

Print is a truly exciting and niche sector to be in, a sector where you can create exciting and innovative products using different materials, printing methods and finishing techniques. My advice would be to think outside of the box; look at what can be produced to help your organisation grow to prove you are an integral part of the team, a person who needs to be rewarded for the knowledge you can provide.

If like Sam, you are looking to take your career to the next level, then why not consider applying for a Rising Star Award. Be the first to know when applications open in early spring 2022 by signing up to our newsletter.

“I enjoy every minute of living at Southwood Court”

“I enjoy every minute of living at Southwood Court”

“This is not a place to be missed if you get the opportunity to move in.”

Several of Matthew’s friends recommended Southwood Court to him and his daughter helped him to apply to the charity. His mother and three sisters had worked at Cahill Printers in Dublin so he was eligible through his direct family connection to the print sector.

It was a decision he doesn’t regret and has been a resident since 2018. “This is not a place to be missed if you get the opportunity to move in. It’s been great coming to live here, everything has worked out well. There’s a really nice atmosphere here and everyone gets on. And the staff are brilliant, second to none.”

He feels safe while maintaining his independence and is very happy living in the first-floor apartment he chose. When the weather’s fine, he enjoys the communal garden and conservatory. 

Matthew often joins in with the social activities organised by the staff for residents but says there’s no pressure to do so if he doesn’t want to. 

“It’s lovely to be close to my family, too. My sons and grandchildren are in and out of here all the time. And I still socialise locally, meeting my friends for a pint. It’s all part and parcel of keeping in touch and talking to other people.”

We currently have a number of vacancies at Southwood Court, so if you or anyone you might know is looking to find a place to live independently in their retirement years, contact us to find out more.

“There’s lots of people who want to see and help you succeed”

“There’s lots of people who want to see and help you succeed”

Rising Star winner Eilidh Reid tells us how she got into publishing and the support available for those looking to get into the industry. 

How did you get into the industry? 

I first became interested in publishing while at university when I worked at Waterstones and eventually took responsibility for the Children’s department. Then, I got accepted for a role as a Publishing Assistant in the Oxford University Press’ Academic Journals division. I really enjoyed the role, however, I knew that I wanted to work in Children’s educational publishing since working at Waterstones, and I’m excited to say I am! I’m now working as a Marketing Administrator in the Educational division of Oxford University Press, providing support across our Primary, Secondary and Trade resources.

What does your role involve? 

My role is really varied – I’m involved in various team projects, such as coordinating the creation of our Secondary catalogues, and liaising with various media sources to set up advertising. I provide copywriting assistance, manage publicity mailings to our reviewers, create press releases for our publications, and create and send out e-newsletters to our reviewers and customers. I’m also responsible for a small portfolio of my own marketing campaigns for middle grade and picture books. I do a lot of website maintenance in order to improve OUP’s accessibility and customer experience on the site. I also am the key contact for our award submissions and review coverage. Like I said, it’s very varied – busy but interesting!

What is your award going to allow you to do? 

I used my Rising Stars award to enrol on the Level 4 CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing. The certificate will provide me with planning and strategy knowledge when it comes to developing successful and engaging marketing campaigns, and to better understand my audience. My hope is that the combination of my current role and the CIM qualification will allow me to take the next step towards managing a larger portfolio of marketing campaigns, and to be more involved in the strategic decision making aspect.

What has surprised you most about the industry you work in?  

I think going into publishing I wasn’t expecting there to be such a large focus on agility and digital innovation. I especially love seeing reading and learning become more and more accessible to children – particularly after the year we’ve had with the pandemic when that aspiration became very much something we needed to fully realise in a short amount of time. 

What would you advise other young people looking to get into the same sector? 

I’d probably advise patience above all else – I and many others have found publishing really competitive. However once you’ve got your foot in the door, you will find a lot of people who want to see and help you succeed. 

The second piece of advice I would give is to be active on Twitter. The publishing network on Twitter is really willing to help and provide guidance, and there are so many resources available if you’re looking to break into the industry. If you’re in that position, I’m always happy to help – I have compiled a list of resources I’ve used and have heard about, as well as some creative ways to make yourself employable without completing one of the big Publishing internships. My Twitter handle is @lttln, feel free to contact me and I’ll send these over!

What are your aspirations for the future of your career? 

All I really want is to be a cheerleader for children, and the way I want to do this is through increasing their access to reading and learning resources, promoting a love of literature, and ultimately helping them realise their full potential. I’m really flexible when it comes to the way in which I make that impact, but what’s important that I’m in a position to do so!

Are you a Rising Star, or know someone that is? To apply, complete our application form and return it to us before 7 March 2021.

A lifeline that saved my career

A lifeline that saved my career

Benjamin Wareing shares how his Rising Stars award meant he could continue his beloved photojournalism even during a pandemic. 

Without The Printing Charity’s support, I can say that my career and livelihood would be vastly different than it is today.

I began my photojournalism career as a teenager, and was one of the youngest photographers of this type in the industry. With just a basic point-zoom camera, it was a humble beginning in every sense of the word!

Once I reached university to study for my Journalism degree, my photojournalism kicked it up a notch significantly, as I could access industry-leading camera equipment. I was lucky enough to photograph the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle and have gone on to photograph almost every member of the Royal Family, three Prime Ministers, almost every politician, breaking news events, and much more.

After finishing university during a global pandemic, I had little funds to pay for the equipment I needed to continue my career. I was missing two crucial lenses that, without, would significantly hamper my ability to photograph – a Nikon 24-70mm and a Nikon 70-200mm, considered two of the ‘holy grail’ lenses in any press photographer’s bag.

They also run up thousands of pounds.  

A life-changing grant

Just as I thought I’d have to put my dream career on hold, I found The Printing Charity’s Rising Star Award (then the Print Futures Awards) offering young creatives like me a chance at crucial funding and support.

I never thought I’d even be considered for a chance, but I made it through to the interview, and after an incredible and passionate talk, was selected as one of the award recipients. This was the lifeline that saved my career, no doubt about it. 

I’ve now been picked up by the National Memorial Arboretum as one of their main events photographers, been head-hunted for possibilities across America and Europe, and have the peace of mind that my photography can come first.

Are you a Rising Star, or know someone that is? To apply, complete our application form and return it to us before 7 March 2021.

Bob’s Story

Bob’s Story

Growing up, Bob wanted to work in print, but being fatherless, it was not easy to become an apprentice without a print connection, as many printers operated a closed shop.

Bob says: “It’s been ten years since the last time I was on the shop floor of a printers and 55 years since I first walked along the cobblestone alleyway of Hollybush Place in Bethnal Green, East London, to start my apprenticeship at C. Attfield & Son, in a converted stable.”

He recalls that when he went for his interview at the printing company in January 1962, the building was freezing cold, but when he saw the printing machines, he really wanted the job. He was offered and accepted a seven-year apprenticeship, starting on £4.00 for a 50-hour, 4 ½ day week. He was also paid to attend printing college one day a week, but his evening classes were unpaid.

Bob reminisces: “We had to break off the ice that formed on the outside cold water tap to make tea over an old upright oil stove for the printers. The toilet was outside with a stick for the first user of the day to break the ice, the only newspaper that went in there was hung up on a nail, but that was the good old days.

“The building backed onto a café’s kitchen, where unhappily cockroaches dined, then entered the printing works and bred in the paper racks. Overnight, the cockroaches would dive-bomb into the water left in the oil stove and drown. They must have been thirsty.”

As well as being the tea boy and gofer in his first year, he was taught monotype composing by an elderly gentleman, who often wore a top hat, saying that he was “a learned gentleman because he was with high education and spelling”. Bob was fond of him and his teaching methods.

Every Saturday morning, Bob cleaned the printing presses and sometimes operated them if the company was short of machine minders.

While other apprentices at college were not allowed to operate any presses until their third year, Bob was already doing so and running jobs in his second year, albeit still the designated tea boy.
In his third year, he was trusted to work on his own, undertaking some composing, proofing, plate making, and operating presses.

By the fourth year, he was a fully rounded jobbing printer, but still on an apprentice’s money of £11.00 per week. He was also still making the tea, as the others seemed to conveniently forget to take a turn.

His fifth year saw him doing well at college and enjoying working with new technology. In his sixth and seventh years, he progressed further and, now married with a child, he decided to move on and took a printing job in Suffolk.

Hear from our Print Futures winners

Hear from our Print Futures winners

We caught up with Ayden, Print Futures Awards winner, to see how he is getting on and ask his views on the benefits of apprenticeships.

What have you been up to since winning a Print Future Award?

Since I won my Award, I have almost completed my NVQ Level 3 in Business. After I finish this, I will be moving on to a NVQ Level 4 in Project Management.

How did your Award help you in furthering your career?

My Award has helped my progress in my career because, with my grant, I chose to do a Diploma in Microsoft Excel, a Diploma in Leadership in Management and a Diploma in Digital Marketing. The Excel diploma, in particular, helped me because a lot of the work I do is in Excel and it has given me a better understanding of it and the functions that are available.

How do you feel your apprenticeship is going?

I feel my apprenticeship is going really well. I am enjoying it and looking forward to moving on to the project management qualification.

Why would you recommend doing an apprenticeship to others?

I would recommend doing an apprenticeship to anybody, especially younger people. It allows you to gain experience in a working environment whilst earning a salary but it also allows you to carry on gaining qualifications and skills.