'Kilts compulsory'

Rising star: Paul Bisland Offset press operator, Tradeprint

Bisland: Kilt fanatic

Paul was highly commended as a finalist in the Trainee of the Year category in the Printweek Awards 2023. He’s 36 and has been working at Tradeprint, based in Dundee, for just over a decade. 

What did you study, and did you have a particular career in mind?

The qualification I gained was SQA Professional Development award in Sheet Fed Lithography. I had been a press assistant for a number of years and went on to learn how to operate the machine and was really keen to get a formal qualification to back up what I had learnt 

How did you find your way into the industry?

I started with Tradeprint back in 2012 in the packing team. I then moved into the CTP department producing the plates for our presses and from there I went onto working on the presses as a press assistant

Did you know anything about print beforehand? 

No, I was new to the industry

What does your current role entail?

I currently work as an offset press operator on our Heidelberg XL 106 10- and eight-colour B1 long perfector presses

What’s the most enjoyable or interesting thing about it?

I enjoy the challenge of having a consistently high output and I love the science of the printing process

Do you have an ideal career path mapped out?

I would love to one day be a press demonstrator 

What would be your dream job (print related)?

To travel the world as a demonstrator

What would be your dream job (not print related)?

Underwater welder

Do you have a ‘side hustle’? 


What’s top of your playlist at the moment?

Spice Girls – Wannabe 

Which box set would you recommend?

Still Game 

What’s your most-used app?


What has surprised you most about working in the printing industry?

How environmentally friendly print is. People think that because we are using tonnes of paper it is bad for the environment, but this is not the case and with new technology like our LED press we are consuming less power than before

What could the printing industry be doing more of to entice young people into print?

More apprenticeships and opportunities to learn and gain qualifications

If you ruled the world ...?

Make the wearing of kilts compulsory!