New support for BPIF trainees and apprentices


The Stationers' Company and the BPIF have bolstered their commitment to training the next generation of print professionals with the renewal of the Stationers' bursary programme and the introduction of a BPIF peer-to-peer mentor scheme for apprentices.

The bursary is worth £6,000 and will be awarded to a candidate (or candidates) beginning the BPIF’s masters degree in management. It will be awarded by the Stationers’ Foundation, the charitable arm of the Stationers' Company, using funding from the Printing Charity. The full sum could go to a single student or be split between several.

The MSc management course is run by the BPIF and the University of South Wales’ Management Development Centre and aimed at those in print with at least five years’ experience in a management role or with full membership of a professional institute. It costs £6,280 to complete.

“Last year was our first time providing this bursary and its first winner is now well into their masters,” said BPIF programme director Ursula Daly. “We hope to have a lot of applications this year, as it is a great opportunity and fantastic for our industry.

“We at the BPIF have not had an extensive track record in helping people to attain this level of education, and the method of study allows students to conduct projects that have never been looked at before, which would lend a fresh perspective to management in print.

“The money will go to a candidate who shines and who could not carry out the masters without it, irrespective of race, class or gender.”

Incorporating a dissertation and two residential weekends a year, the degree can be completed in 12 months by students who are full members of a professional institution and serves as a fast-track top-up masters designed to be undisruptive of the working week.

Applications close on 24 May.

The BPIF is also introducing a mentorship programme, first suggested by its apprentice council in November last year, through which apprentices will be able to get advice and support from young people who have recently completed apprenticeships.

Daly said: “For many apprentices, some of whom work in small companies or with people much older than them, they may be wary of exposing their vulnerabilities and uncertainties to a manager who knows much more than them.

“This programme allows them to talk to people practically their own age, who they likely share a common language and understanding with, in order to have someone who understands almost exactly what they are going through.

“Looking back on my own training, the people who impacted me were often unexpected and outside of the usual structures, so I think this will be very useful.”

The BPIF will contact employers and learners in the following months to offer them a place on the opt-in scheme.

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