The Printing Charity (TPC) has announced the winners of this year’s Print Futures Awards and called on the industry to promote print more to young people.
Speaking at an event at the House of Lords last night (23 July), TPC chief executive Stephen Gilbert urged guests to “feel their enthusiasm, their vibrancy, their drive and their optimism for this industry.
“Let them see your operations and educate them in the whole width, breadth and depth of this industry. I would ask every one of you to be an ambassador of this charity.”
Gilbert also detailed the importance of three industry schemes in promoting print to young people.
He highlighted the work of Two Sides, the importance of Proskills’ PrintIT! brochure in promoting print to young people in schools, and the development of the new trailblazer NVQ apprenticeships, an initiative led by union Unite and the BPIF.
The Print Futures Awards were launched in 2003 to help fund any costs associated with a relevant training course in printing, publishing or graphic arts.
The annual awards programme, offers cash grants of up to £1,500 to UK residents aged 16 to 30. There were a record 37 awards this year, and 80 applications were received in total.
This is an increase on the 24 awards given out last year, which itself was increased from 15 in 2013 on the back of an injection of funds from the John Crosfield Foundation and additional support from the St Bride Foundation.
Print Futures is also supported by TPC, Unite (Graphical, Paper and Media Union sector) and the BPIF.
Gilbert said he hopes the number of awards will increase to 50 next year. He added that TPC is continually looking for new sponsors, particularly those from publishing and new media backgrounds.
Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, the former general secretary of print union SOGAT, who hosted the event said: “We need more talented young people to come into the industry and we should praise that and celebrate it.
“Our industry is important for jobs and for the economy, important for communication and I think it’s terribly important in a free society and democracy because the way we help it function is through that communication. It’s great to have a charity that works actively and very successfully.”
TPC chairman Jon Wright thanked Print Futures Awards secretary Terry Ulrick who, it was announced, is stepping down from his position. Ulrick set up the scheme with the BPIF in 2003.
The 37 winners, who were presented with their awards by Lord Black of Brentwood, will use the money to help fund a range of print related endeavours including journalism courses, covering living costs while taking up internships and unpaid placements within the industry, and print and finishing practical training courses.
The Print Futures Awards 2015 winners are: