Senior staff from The Printing Charity and other businesses in print-related industries met at Hackney Community College where they took part in a discussion led by HRH The Duke of York, KG on the benefits of hiring apprentices.

The Duke is committed to encouraging organisations of all kinds to consider supporting, or increasing their support for, apprenticeships. His Royal Highness said: “In an industry that is rapidly changing in technology, the print industry has changed beyond all recognition but still needs skills.”

Employers and their apprentices who already train at Hackney Community College outlined the structure of apprenticeship pathways in the printing industry. Guests were treated to afternoon tea by students and apprentices in the college’s Hoxton Street training restaurant, Open Kitchen.

Companies represented at the event included the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF), Commercial Group, Digital Copy, Disc to Print UK, Earth Island Publishing, HP, Proskills UK, Real Ripple Media, Renz, Sharp Electronics, St Bride Foundation, and Vpress.

The Printing Charity provides a range of support and assistance for individuals across the printing industry and allied trades and actively encourages apprenticeships in the trades. Chief Executive, Stephen Gilbert, said: “We have a long history of providing financial and practical help to individuals associated with the printing trade. It is vitally important that the industry looks forward to its future, and we firmly believe that encouraging and supporting apprenticeships is key to the success of the UK printing industry. We are very grateful to have the support of His Royal Highness in this venture.”

Ian Ashman, Principal of Hackney Community College, said: “Today’s event, led by The Duke, has raised awareness of the extensive apprenticeship opportunities in the printing and related industries. We look forward to supporting some of these companies to take on local young apprentices, supported by the practical help that The Printing Charity can give.”

Apprenticeships and other work-based training at Hackney Community College are delivered by View Training, the employer-facing division of the College. The College and View have successfully worked with a number of industries as wide-ranging as fashion, brewing and Tech City to establish sector-specific apprenticeship schemes that meet the detailed needs of the industries and give opportunities to local people.