'Leaders of the future' graduate from BPIF scheme

The BPIF is celebrating the success of more than 120 printing industry professionals who are the first-ever graduates of its Level 5 Graduate Management Programme.

The graduates spanned a wide range of BPIF member companies, from large groups such as Wyndeham Group and Polestar, to smaller owner-managed businesses.

The ceremony took place at One Great George Street in London. 

BPIF president Gerald White said: "When we set up the Graduate Management Programme two years ago the intention was to create a management programme for our industry, a professional development plan for managers to set them on track to become the leaders of the future.

"I can confidently say 'yes' we did achieve that."

The scheme was backed with £1.1m of government funding and was set up under the auspices of the federation's late chief executive Kathy Woodward, who died in August 2014.

Charles Jarrold, who became the federation’s new chief executive at the start of this year, paid tribute to Woodward's foresight and tenacity in gaining the funding for the scheme. "Today is a great tribute to my predecessor Kathy, who had the initiative to go after the funding and was such a champion of training and development."

Jarrold said he was "deeply impressed" by the achievements of the graduates. "I hope you have surprised yourselves with what you are capable of," he said. "I hope you graduates see today as the end of the beginning – I hope your appetite for personal development has been well and truly whetted."

Karen Smith, an account director at Cheshire-headquartered APS Group, was among the graduates. She said: “It was excellent and I really enjoyed the course. I’d just started a new role so some of the things we were taught about managing people and teams I was able to relate to my job immediately.

“The combination of working and learning at the same time was a great benefit.”

Jarrold praised the work of the BPIF’s training team, led by training and development director Kay Smith and programme director Ursula Daly, in delivering the programme and supporting the learners.

Smith said: “I am so proud today, to see them all together is really special.”

There were 121 graduates from 200 learners who achieved some of the elements. The BPIF has set up a new LinkedIn page for alumni of the training programme.

At the graduation ceremony Jarrold also announced the creation of a new Kathy Woodward Award for Learning, sponsored by print manager Webmart, with a prize of £1,000 for the winner to fund further training.

The BPIF has also teamed up with Management Development Centre and the University of South Wales to offer a new MSc in Management for the industry. The first course will start in October.


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