Seminar delegates were given a guided tour of Beaverbrook House, our sheltered home in Bletchley
We welcomed 70 delegates from 40 regional almshouse charities to the Almshouse Association’s Trustees and Clerks Seminar held in Bletchley on 9 October.
Following presentations on topics that included data protection, fire safety, and cyber security, delegates were given a guided tour of the facilities on offer at Beaverbrook House, one of our two sheltered homes for people who have retired from the printing sector or have an immediate family connection to it.
Beaverbrook House has 32 self-contained apartments, providing a caring community where residents live independently but with access to support if needed.
Jon Wright, our Chairman, said: “We have had a connection to almshouses for 178 years and this event was a great opportunity to show our continuing commitment to providing sheltered accommodation for people who have retired from the printing sector.”
The UK printing industry almost exactly matched the downbeat expectations for Q2, as far as output and orders are concerned – fortunately the forecasts for Q3 suggests some growth ahead. The latest Printing Outlook survey shows 33% of printers increased output levels in the second quarter of 2018. A further 32% held output steady whilst 35% experienced a decline in output. The resulting balance (the difference between the ups and the downs) was -2; down on the +23 recoded in Q1 and just undercutting the Q2 forecast of -1. The Q2 period seems to have been characterised by fluctuating periods of activity and inactivity with significant dependence on the performance of clients’ markets. However, there also appears to have been a consistent reduction in commercial print run-lengths and an increase in ordering delays. Anecdotally, the packaging sector has exhibited more stability but client performance and levels of uncertainty remain a concern.
A poor performance in Q2 has not restricted the forecast for Q3. Printers expect output growth to bounce back in Q3 with a strong performance. 41% of respondents predict that they will increase output levels in Q3, a further 41% expect output levels to hold steady. That leaves only 18% forecasting that output will fall in Q3. The forecasted balance of +23 would, if realised, be a significant upturn from Q2 and surpass the Q3 output growth balance in the last two years.
The output balance of -2 was just below the forecast of -1 for Q2. A balance of +23 is forecast for the coming three months.
Competitors’ pricing below cost continues to be the most voiced business concern, though only just – the proportion selecting it this quarter is down from last quarter; to 66% (it was 70%, 65%, 70% and 81% in the preceding quarters). Paper and board price concerns remains the second ranked concern; this was selected by 62% of respondents, down very slightly from 63% last quarter (and 60%, 47%, 42% and 32% in the quarters prior to that).
Profit levels being insufficient to ensure investment has maintained its 21% from last quarter, yet jumped to the third concern. The remaining vote allocation splits across poor output prices, access to skilled labour, Brexit and late payment.
Stresses and tensions related to Brexit are ramping up in the UK printing industry – whilst diverse attitudes and outlooks do exist there is no escape from the topic, and no denial that confidence is on a downward swing. Both our Brexit Barometers continue to report negative confidence levels – regarding the outlook for the UK economy during the Brexit negotiation period, and following UK withdrawal from the EU. The barometer for during negotiations has turned in Q3, to increase in its negativity since Q2. In comparison to last quarter, fewer respondents (18%) are now ‘somewhat confident’ regarding the outlook for the UK economy; down from 26% in Q2. Just under one-third (31%) are currently ‘neither confident nor unconfident’, down from 35% previously. Over two-fifths (42%) are ‘somewhat unconfident’; down from 33% in Q2. Few respondents (1%) are in the ‘very confident’ category and 8% have now selected the ‘very unconfident’ category.
Using these figures we have established a BPIF Brexit Barometer. Similar in construct to our usual balances approach we have produced a weighted balance where the ‘very’ and ‘somewhat’ confident returns offset the equivalent unconfident returns. The resulting balance is then scaled so that we can monitor confidence changes over time.
The ‘unconfident’ returns continue to outweigh the ‘confident’ returns, and now by an increasing margin. The actual weighted balance is -38 – which still places the current Brexit Barometer for the UK economic outlook during the Brexit negotiation period deep in the negative side of the scale; now around the middle of the ‘very unconfident’ zone. Almost back to the low achieved in Q4 2017 (-41). It is necessary to point out that the recent resignations from the Government’s Brexit team came right in the middle of the survey period; this will have affected confidence. The message we are picking-up is; if the Government is able to allay concerns from businesses, add to the detail on its negotiation position, make some progress with the EU and advise as to the potential outcomes and ramifications of these – then confidence will improve and our barometer will warm up.
The BPIF Printing Outlook Q3 2018 report goes into further detail.
The BPIF and CDi, in association with the Stationers Company, hosted over 90 leading lights from the print, creative and digital industries at the Oracle Bar, Leeds to celebrate Yorkshire Day 2018.
Dale Wallis, Membership Director of the BPIF, opened the event thanking guests for their attendance to celebrate their respective industries this Yorkshire Day. David Allan, who was elected Master of the Stationers’ Company last month then spoke about the strength of these industries explaining how they are committed to educate for the future.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of the Victor Watson Trophy by John Watson, OBE, whose late brother the trophy is named after. Now in its 3rd year, the trophy was launched in memory of Victor Watson CBE DL to recognise a Young Person of Outstanding Achievement employed in the industry. This year a Certificate of Merit was awarded to Ismail Mulla a business reporter at the Yorkshire Post.
CDi President Robert McClements concluded the event by setting forth his plans to continue to promote and grow CDi in the future. He thanked partners, organisers and sponsors in particular The Stationers Company, Garbutt + Elliot and Ad:Venture, and went on to encourage attendees to browse the exhibitors Leeds City Region LEP, TechNation, CuratorSpace, TopicUK and Chloe Kutkus Morton, a freelance printmaker and illustrator supported by The Printing Charity through The Prince’s Trust, who were all on hand to demonstrate their own collaborative contributions to the sector.
The day concluded with a BBQ lunch providing a great opportunity for all those who attended to network with peers, highlighting the important role the BPIF and CDi play as the ‘network of networks’.
Winners of the 2018 Print Futures Awards for people aged 18 to 30 years were presented with their Awards at an event at the House of Lords on 26 July kindly hosted by Lord Black of Brentwood, Deputy Chairman of the Telegraph Media Group and President Emeritus of The Printing Charity.
Presenting the Awards, Lord Black said: “This evening is always a cause for celebration and this year’s Print Futures Awards are more successful than ever. It is the largest single awards event for young people and this year there were 302 applicants of extremely high calibre and 91 winners. Applications came from across the UK, covering a whole range of disciplines.
“As we change and meet the challenge of the future, people of talent and ambition will always flourish and that is why the Print Futures Awards are so important and the winners should take pride in achieving them.”
Lord Black also paid tribute to Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, who died earlier this year. She was an icon of the printing industry, a huge supporter of The Printing Charity, a champion of young people, and hosted the Print Futures Awards event for many years.
Neil Lovell, The Printing Charity’s Chief Executive, said: “People in the sector are always talking about needing to bring in new talent and showing how diverse it is and these Awards help to support that call for action. These 91 young people from every area of the sector are a really great sign. They show more young people have clear plans to enter the sector while those already in the sector, including apprentices, see a positive future and are passionate about progressing within it. There is obviously more to do in making the sector attractive to young people, which is why we want more of the sector involved in future.
“These are prestigious Awards and the winners had to show their commitment to working in the sector in front of a panel of judges from the sector.”
This year’s winners are: Lilly Adcock, Hannah Allsworth, Laura Andrew, Euphrosyne Andrews, Katie Angus, Sophie Atkinson, Ayo Awokoya, Matthew Barber, Tom Barlow Brown, Finola Billings, Tom Bonnington, Matthew Britton, Samuel Brooke, Sophie Bruce, Fiona Buchanan, Charlie Cahill, Carola Cappellari, Georgie Carter, Sophie Chater, Soofiya Chaudry, Sophie Christian, Emily Clarke, Maxime Cossé, Ava Doran, Tessa Duell, Joanna Fuller, Lisa Galbraith, Sebastian Garraway, Amy Gear, Billy Gibbs-O’Riordan, Louise Gill, Rachael Grant, Claudia Greco, Eve Hawksworth, Georgia Heath, Charley Henly, Rose Henry, Daisy Holder, William Horsnell, Ellie Howard, Amy Irvine, Chloe Johnson, Isobel Johnson, Daniel Jones, Laura Jones, Lauren Kent, Ayden Kirk, Nathaniel Kunitsky, Heiba Lamara, Richard Lemmer, Josh Levett-Thomas, Andrew Lindsay, Thomas Lockey, Heather McDaid, Leah McDowell, Tara McEvoy, Jennifer Miller, Matthew Moody, Ryan Munro, Isobel Nettleton, Marcin Nowak, Renuka Odedra, Sarah Olley, Tom Orde, Khadija Osman, Jessica Owen, Rebecca Parkinson, Clelia Petracca, Kate Plummer, Lauren Powell, Gemma Purkiss, Francesca Pymm, Louis Reynolds, Emily Ridge, Otis Robinson, Hollyanne Schnieden, Baldassare Sciacca, Sophie Scott-Foss, Natalie Shaw, Danielle Shepherd, Emma Skinner, Arica Smith, Nadine Smoczynski, Jessie Sullivan, Rosanna Sutcliffe, Megan Thomas, Lucy Twist, Victoria Walsh, Tom Walton, Jake Watson, and Amber Westley.
For more information about the winners, see https://www.theprintingcharity.org.uk/2018-winners/
Congratulations to the joint winners of this year’s Victor Watson Trophy, Sophia Djili and Agata Labedz, from De La Rue and KCS Print respectively. Alice Murray from BCQ Group was highly commended. The trophy was presented on 4th July at the BPIF’s annual All-Party Parliamentary Print Group (APPPG) reception at the House of Lords.
The Victor Watson Trophy, open to people aged 31 and under, was set up by the BPIF, The Printing Charity, and the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards, in memory of Victor Watson CBE DL, a legendary figure in print. He was a former Trustee and our President in 1992.
The award recognises outstanding achievement by young people in the printing industry. Recipients are also eligible to apply for a Print Futures Award of up to £1,500.