Eclipse Colour Print managing director Simon Moore has called on UK Print to take on more apprentices in order to help tackle the skills shortage in print and cut youth unemployment.
The Kettering based group has employed five apprentices across its pre-press, sheet-fed, web printing and finishing departments in the past six to nine months.
According to Moore, the company's latest recruitment program was formed partly to create opportunities for younger people but also to train and produce a skilled workforce that the company can benefit from.
He said: "We are looking at a succession plan beyond the skilled people we already have here at the business. Further down the line, we don't necessarily only want to recruit from outside of Eclipse but from internally, drawing from the younger skills base we have.
"The industry is changing as machinery perhaps becomes more automated so the need for skills is still very much there but those skills are different than before."
Eclipse is already in the process of recruiting two new apprentices and has recruited six full-time employees across the group in recent months.
Moore added: "I see this as an ongoing responsibility to continue with our policy of creating sustainable skills throughout the business, especially when recent figures show that more than 1m young people are not in employment, education or training.
"I think we should all be looking a bit closer at ourselves to see where responsible businesses can help."
At Drupa, Eclipse Colour Print invested in a 10-colour perfecting Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106. The 15,000sph machine with Inpress Control automated colour and register control will be installed at the company's Kettering site in January