“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.

Tools for success – how software training can shape your career

Tools for success – how software training can shape your career

Taking a certified training course can help you gain valuable knowledge in different software applications while opening the door to new career opportunities. 

Software and equipment can be a vital tool in many career paths, helping you to complete your everyday tasks efficiently and to a good standard. Some job roles will require you to have specific training on certain software, for example Adobe Creative Cloud, which you may not be familiar with, or you may just have an interest to learn more about how the software works. 

Before you set out trying to become an expert on every piece of software possible, it’s important to identify what specific tools you need to learn about in your chosen field. Ask colleagues or a mentor about what they use most, or research the tools used in your dream job role. It’s also a good idea to take a look at the software if possible, or follow an online tutorial to double check it is what you were expecting before finding a training course.

Once you have completed technical training, you may find many new career opportunities are available to you. Sophie Chuter, Rising Star Award winner in 2019, used her grant to fund an Adobe certified Photoshop course. “Part of the work we do in our team is manipulating and colour correcting images for our print campaigns. However, I lacked knowledge and confidence in Photoshop to be able to do this. Completing the course will give me an Adobe Mid-level certification which is a recognised qualification in the industry and one that will help me to progress into more senior roles.”

Amy Elrington used her award to do an Adobe Creative Cloud print workshop as well as a course in SEO. For her, the award was invaluable; “The award gave me the opportunity to develop my practical skills in design and online digital marketing. Not only that, I had the opportunity to meet with the talented judges, who challenged me to answer questions about where I want to go with my career.”

Software training is a brilliant way to invest in your career. If you know what programmes you need to use to progress, apply to the Rising Star Awards before the 7th March.

“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.

Answering your Rising Star Award questions

Answering your Rising Star Award questions

The Rising Star Awards offer grants for training or equipment so young people working in the wider print industry can reach their career goals. For any of those out there who are unsure whether to apply, we’ve answered some typically asked questions here. 

 

Once you are ready, fill out our application form before the 7th March and you could be in with a chance to be named a 2021 Rising Star. 

Still have a question? Please don’t hesitate to contact us on awards@theprintingcharity.org.uk 

What is the criteria for entry?

The Rising Star Awards are open to:

  • Those who have a right to reside in the UK 
  • Those aged 18-30 at the time of your application  
  • Individuals working in the print, paper, publishing, and packaging sectors  
  • Individuals studying for sector-specific qualifications 

Are those that are self employed or currently on an internship eligible? 

Yes! We welcome applications from those who are working in the industry on a temporary or self employed basis (e.g. interns). We will want to hear about your long term career plans and how you intend to progress within the print/paper/publishing/packaging sector. We’ll also want to hear about your journey to where you are now and what other experience and training you have. 

If successful I’d like to put the funding towards a Diploma. I would be making up the remainder of the course fee in conjunction with the Rising Star funding. Is this ok?

Yes! We are happy to receive applications to part fund a qualification, where the remainder of the cost will be made up by either an employer or the applicant.  We would encourage you to explain why this is the right course for you, and describe how you will meet the additional costs.  

Can I apply for funding for a Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification, when I work in publishing?

Yes! We encourage all applicants to research the right course for them, whether that’s to improve a core or soft skill. Talking to a manager or mentor about the choice of course so they can validate that it’s the right fit is also a great idea. We’ll be keen to hear why you’ve chosen the course, and how you think it will benefit you in the short and longer term. We recognise that our sector is multi faceted, within which you can be a finance specialist, a marketing specialist, or a project manager, so it’s best to gain a tailored qualification.

Am still eligible for the Rising Star Awards if I apply before I turn 30 this year?

This is an opportunity for those aged 18 to 30. Essentially this means that applicants can not have had their 31st birthday. We stipulate that you should be 30 or below when you apply.

I know a young person who continually impresses me in their commitment to the industry. Can I nominate them for an award?

Successful Rising Stars are awarded grants for training or equipment to help them in their career. If you can think of someone you would nominate, why not talk to them about the skills or training they might need for their career path. You can help them fill out the application form but we ask that all applications come from the individual.

What percentage of applicants are successful in getting an award?

Each application is considered on its own merit, which means that each year, a different percentage of applicants receive a Rising Star Award – typically, this is circa 60%.  

The reason that the majority of applications do not proceed to interview, is because the applicants are asking for something we do not support. Our Frequently Asked Questions detail what we can and can’t help with. 

If you are unsuccessful, so long as you are 29 or under, you can apply again next year.  We will happily give you feedback regarding your application if you request it.  

How long do I have to spend the award money?

We like all award winners to have spent their money on their chosen courses or equipment within a 12 month time frame. This may mean that you plan to undertake a course in November for example, in which we’d just ask you to let us know your intended start date in your application form. 

I’ve completed so much online and free training during the past 12 months, is it worth doing paid-for courses?

We would encourage everyone to boost their personal development, and if this is via free online training, that’s great. However, certified, paid-for training, can often offer a recognisable qualification for your CV and provide best of breed learning. 

Can I use a Rising Star Award for community benefit?

Yes! Where there is a clear and proven community benefit, such as passing on new skills, we are pleased to support community organisations.

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.