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Industry

Award-winning print apprentice calls on women

Pre-press technician Lauren Harkin was awarded the Apprentice of the Year at the Irish Print Awards and has called for more women to join the industry.

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Pre-press technician Lauren Harkin scoops Apprentice of the Year

Harkin joined Nuprint in Londonderry as an apprentice in 2017 through the STEM program which supports apprentices across science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She originally began working with the design team, but her talents saw her selected to be part of the company’s new digital department. Also studying at Belfast Met, Harkin beat 74 of her peers at the college to scoop the accolade.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have won the award,” says Lauren. “I would really encourage more women to go down the STEM apprenticeship route. The print industry is developing very fast and becoming increasingly technologically advanced, so the future will require staff with a strong background in STEM subjects.”

Nuprint sent Lauren to Barcelona where she was trained to use artwork pre-press software and in press operating. The firm invested in a HP Indigo press as part of the new digital department, where Lauren is producing high-spec labels, sleeves and wraparound labelling for commercial clients. She has expressed that she would like to see more women enter the industry as there is a wealth of opportunities.

The print industry is developing very fast and becoming increasingly technologically advanced, so the future will require staff with a strong background in STEM subjects

“While my male colleagues are great, it would be fantastic for all companies to engage with more women. I’m glad I work for a company which encourages me as a young woman in STEM. It’s very rewarding to be part of a business which is always changing, adapting and expanding. There are always opportunities to train and progress.”

Gavin Killeen, managing director of Nuprint, says Harkin is a “shining example of a female in a male-dominated print industry excelling and embracing STEM.”

Killeen adds: “Eager to learn new skills and increase her expertise in print, Lauren is undaunted by the challenges we constantly throw her way. With her positive attitude, ability to work under pressure and her clear thinking, she embodies Nuprint’s values and has now set a high standard for all our apprentices, both female and male. Everyone at Nuprint is very proud of Lauren and we’re delighted her hard work has been rewarded with her success at the Irish Print Awards.”

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