And that’s a real shame, because apprenticeships and apprentices should be celebrated. The fact that print has an ageing workforce is well documented, and key to changing that worrying demographic is attracting more young people into the sector.
But the problem is that apprenticeships still seem to have a truly undeserved bad rap in the UK, at least in the minds of parents and schools.
So, initiatives like National Apprenticeship Week are an incredibly important tool in helping to turn the tide of public opinion and encourage more young people to consider vocational training.
But it’s not just the hearts and minds of parents, teachers and students that need to be won –
business leaders need to take a long hard look at themselves too. Because key to attracting more young talent to the sector is changing how print is viewed by the outside world.
We need to shake the misguided image of a tired industry of yesteryear, flailing against a rising tide of digital dominance, and highlight the many and varied career opportunities this technology-driven and exciting industry has to offer – because if we don’t, no one else will. And then, like our esteemed parliamentarians, we too will be accused of sleepwalking into a disaster of our own making.
So, start engaging with your local schools and colleges and see if you can talk to the workforce of tomorrow about the myriad opportunities the sector offers – or, better still, really blow them away and invite them over and show them what you do.
Because if we don’t, there are plenty of industries that will.