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Deadline looms for Print Futures Awards

The deadline for young people in the print and graphic industries to apply for a grant from the Printing Charity is fast approaching.

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Some of those young people who were awarded grants last year

With up to £1,500 up for grabs to help with costs, it is worth filling in an online application at https://www.theprintingcharity.org.uk/print-futures-awards/ before the clock strikes midnight on April 29th, 2018. Many students, apprentices, graphic designers and those involved in the industry may not know what the awards are all about, so Print Monthly pinned down Neil Lovell of the charity and asked him to explain. First up, we asked, what are the Print Futures Awards?

He says: “The annual Print Futures Awards are grants of up to £1,500 each to help UK residents aged 18 to 30 years pay for training for careers in printing, paper, publishing, packaging, and graphic arts or to develop their workplace skills in those sectors.”

It may seem an odd question but why are they important? He comments: “Of all the industry awards, this is dedicated to celebrating current and future talent. It’s important to recognise some of the brilliant rising starts in the sector, as well as the current generation looking to join it. We know that the sector, like many others, needs to attract new people into it and one of the ways to do that is to show the positive role models from people in the sector and the range of career opportunities it offers.”

For me, the best moments are seeing the enthusiasm and commitment of the young people who make it to the interview stage

We noted that the age range for applying was 18-30 years, so apart from teenagers working in a printing factory, who else puts in an application?

Lovell is nothing if not enthusiastic to promote the next generation in the industry. He says: “Over the years the people who have applied has grown to include young people who are studying and looking at their first step into a role as well as those who are already on their way and working in the sector. It means we have applications and winners form students leaving university or college, apprentices, those studying for NVQs in print-related organisations, and people looking to train to enhance their workplace skills.”

What were Lovell’s hopes and fears for the awards in the future? It seems like a good question since the industry is going through a transformation as the internet grows and traditional print declines but print packaging is increasing year on year.

Neil Lovell, The Printing Charity’s chief executive

After some thought, he comments: “I don’t have any fears about the awards. We know they help young people to gain confidence and move on in whatever area they are interested in and since 2009 we have had 235 winners. I do have hopes that this awards programme will develop to encourage more young people working in the industry to apply for help and that employers recognise this as a way to celebrate their rising stars. We are lucky to have the support of all the industry bodies in promoting the awards and have built relationships with colleges and universities as well so we are in good shape to be able to build on the success of previous years.

“For me, the best moments are seeing the enthusiasm and commitment of the young people who make it to the interview stage. You can really tell those who love their jobs and see a future in this sector. That is what this is all about and I am proud that The Printing Charity is able to support their ambition through the Awards.”

The Awards are grants of up to £1,500 each to help pay for training for careers in printing, paper, publishing, packaging, and graphic arts or to develop workplace skills in those sectors. Applications are invited from people who intend to or are studying, people already working in the industry looking to progress their careers, and apprentices and those studying for NVQs in print-related organisations. The closing date for applications is 11.59 pm on April 29th, 2018.

The Printing Charity was launched in 1827 and is the only dedicated national charity helping people of all ages in the printing, publishing, packaging and graphic arts sectors, as well as the allied trades. For more details visit www.theprintingcharity.org.uk

If you have an interesting story or a view on this news, then please e-mail news@printmonthly.co.uk

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