Open to UK residents aged 18 to 30 and administered and co-sponsored by The Printing Charity, the awards provide cash grants of £1,500 to young people wishing to pursue a career in printing or associated industries.
The grants help recipients to pay for training for careers in printing, paper, publishing, packaging and graphic arts or to develop workplace skills in those sectors.
The Printing Charity is inviting applications from people who intend to study or are already doing so, people already working in the industry and looking to progress their careers, and apprentices and those studying for NVQs in print-related organisations.
Recipients studying for NVQs or apprenticeships can also use the grants to cover living costs while doing internships or unpaid work placements.
The Printing Charity chief executive Neil Lovell said: “The main aim of the awards is to celebrate people wanting to join the sector, and coming into the industry, as well as those that are already working within it. They are also used as a way of encouraging young people to develop in what they’re doing.
“There seems to be two areas that the awards represent. One group is people that are leaving university, college or some form of education and are about to step into the sector – they may be doing graphic design or something more on the art side.
“The other group is apprentices or young people, or people that have been working in a print or related business and are training. It’s hard to know which groups we’re going to get every year but we push across both of those groups and see what applications come in, and then from there we’ll work out who’s strong enough to be able to win an award.
“Last year we started to see more people coming from industry and this year we’ve been pushing more firmly on that. We’ve had great support from all of the membership bodies – everyone from the IPIA and the BAPC to the BPIF – who are going out to their members and encouraging them to suggest some of their younger workforce to make an application.”
Lovell added he hopes the wider industry will embrace the scheme as an opportunity to celebrate talent.
“We hear so many negatives about young people not being encouraged enough to come into the industry, or that it’s a dying trade, and we believe the absolute opposite.
“We would encourage the many businesses out there to put people forward for this, we have a great event at the House of Lords and winners get something to help and support them.”
A record 78 winners took home awards last year, with applications to the scheme also at a record 275.
Co-sponsors for this year’s awards are Saxoprint, The Book Trade Charity and Unite the Union GPM & IT Sector, while other supporters include St Bride Foundation and the Journalists’ Charity, as well as the aforementioned IPIA, BAPC and BPIF.
The awards are free to enter and the closing date for applications is 29 April 2018. To complete the online application form, visit: bit.ly/pfa2018.
Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed in London in early June by a panel of judges drawn from across the print industry and winners will receive their awards at a ceremony held at the House of Lords in London in July.