Prince Andrew spoke on the importance of encouraging young people into print and the value of apprenticeships at The Printing Charity's 188th Annual Luncheon yesterday (5 November).
The Duke, the current president of the charity, was the guest speaker at the event, held at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London.
He noted that print's ubiquity sometimes rendered it invisible and thanked the 165 guests at the lunch for raising the profile of print as a whole before raising a toast to ‘the printed word’.
He said: "The more you can do to encourage young people to become skilled, particularly in your sector, which covers a wide range of skills, the better. I not only congratulate you on what you have done, but also ask you to continue the work you do.
“The charity does a huge amount to make sure that not only those that are in difficulty are helped, but also that those that come into the industry get the start they need.”
Prior to the Duke’s speech, chairman of The Printing Charity Jon Wright spoke of the organisation’s work in 2015. He highlighted that the charity will help out more than 1,000 people this year, up from 685 last year.
He added that a record number of 37 awards were given out at the Print Futures event, held at the House of Lords in July, from an also record total of 80 entries.
“The charity has been able to grow due to receiving our second Supplemental Royal Charter last year,” said Wright.
“We expanded on the Print Futures Awards, which help people that wish to study, or are studying, in a print related field. Over four years now we’ve given 123 grants out.”
Wright also highlighted the charity’s work with Proskills and its PrintIT! brochure, which promotes print to young people in schools, as well as its involvement in the development of the new trailblazer NVQ apprenticeships, an initiative led by union Unite and the BPIF.
The luncheon also saw a loyal toast given by The Printing Charity’s vice-president Lord Black of Brentwood while grace was said by President Emeritus Sir Jeremy Elwes. A prize draw held during the luncheon raised £1,420 for the charity.