National Apprenticeship Week

Our support for apprenticeships and training is rooted in our aim to help individuals to progress within their print-related career or identify pathways into employment for young people. This includes supporting training and apprenticeships, as well as special projects that give real-world and practical experience. Almost 500 individuals a year benefit from our education and partnership activities.

Some of the projects we support include:

  • The Queen’s Bindery Apprenticeship scheme, helping to preserve the rare skills of hand bookbinding
  • Papermaking Apprenticeship Trailblazer, helping young people gain practical experience of papermaking
  • Bound by Veterans, funding City & Guilds level 3 in bookbinding for veterans, leading to a potential career in bookbinding
  • NCTJ’s Journalism Diversity Fund, supporting journalism training for under-represented groups to help create a more diverse newsroom
  • Rory Peck Trust assistance fund, helping freelance journalists with essential safety training in hostile environments
  • London College of Communication projects, giving real-world experience to students through live briefs

Our Print Futures Awards have supported 326 winners since 2009. These Awards help UK residents aged 18 to 30 years pay for recognised UK training courses or to develop their existing workplace skills in the UK printing, paper, publishing, packaging, and graphic arts sectors. Through the awards, we want to encourage people to take up apprenticeships and consider our sector to start their careers so we can retain vital skills. For more information, please see our Print Futures Awards page.

We are proud to support apprenticeships across the sectors we represent and encourage everyone interested in apprenticeships to find out more through their careers services, the National Apprenticeship Service or direct with industry bodies such as the BPIF and CPI.

We caught up with some of our Print Futures Awards winners to see how they are getting on and ask their 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.

Ayden Kirk

Apprentice, Communisis

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

I have been gaining experience continuously in my workplace with each day that passes. I also used the grant money last November, which allowed me to receive MAC training and has given me access to my own software to use at home.

How did your Award help you in furthering your career?

I have a wider understanding of the crucial processes in the print industry, which weren’t included in my qualification. This has motivated me to do more and I’m now a trained first-aider and certified manual handling trainer for my company. I am striving to be better each day and I’m excited about my future!

How do you feel your apprenticeship is going?

I have now completed my apprenticeship and am thoroughly enjoying my new role as a fully qualified pre-press operator!

Why would you recommend doing an apprenticeship to others?

For me, an apprenticeship is a more practical and rewarding way of learning. The training you’ll receive is specific to your career and you’re given the opportunity to apply your skills shortly after you qualify. You have the chance to work alongside some of the most experienced team members in the industry while gaining key knowledge and understanding of the job. Every day is a school day, but in this case, school is fun!

Lisa Galbraith

Apprentice, Gilmour & Dean

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

I have been working in newsrooms in Leeds and Sheffield for newspapers such as The Yorkshire Evening Post, Yorkshire Post, The Star, Doncaster Free Press and many more as well as studying for my NCTJ.

How did your Award help you in furthering your career?

The Award helped me as I used the money from the grant to buy a camera, which I use constantly to take photos to accompany my articles and to shoot videos for digital work.

How do you feel your apprenticeship is going?

I feel like my apprenticeship is going very well. I have almost completed my NCTJ and have gained a lot of experience in the industry I want to build a career in. It has been a year of learning and constant change and I have high hopes to continue writing for newspapers in my future.

Why would you recommend doing an apprenticeship to others?

There is often a debate about apprenticeships versus university, but I have done both. University helps you grow academically and gives you a solid foundation for future life. However, it is during my apprenticeship that I have grown the most both as a person and in terms of my career. It has opened doors to me that university never could. Not to mention that you get paid to work and learn a subject you love.

Laura Andrew

Apprentice, JPI Media

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

I have achieved so much since winning the award, I have been employed by Adare SEC which is great!

How did your Award help you in furthering your career?

Since winning the award I was able to buy my laptop which has helped me complete my Customer Service NVQ almost a year ahead of the expected completion date!  I have also signed up for the Customer Services workshop and my travel expenses were paid for the year. I am now a Trainee Account Executive for Adare.

How do you feel your apprenticeship is going?

I am very near the completion of my Apprenticeship and have loved doing this NVQ, it has taught me so much about internal and external customers and some very key life skills in some parts!

Why would you recommend doing an apprenticeship to others?

I really believe that after completing my apprenticeship I have learnt so many new skills along the way, it has enabled me to further my knowledge and employment at Adare SEC. I would recommend doing an Apprenticeship because personally University did not interest me and being able to do your course at your own pace makes you feel more comfortable in achieving your goals. I am now looking into another course.

Lauren Powell

Apprentice, Adare SEC

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