Print4 is anticipating a bright future for the print industry as it enjoys a week of work experience with an “incredibly bright” 15-year-old student.
George from Colchester wrote a letter to the Nottingham-based commercial printer expressing his interest in the relationship between IT and the print sector’s future. He told the firm that his grandmother lived nearby, and he could travel up and stay with her for the week.
Starting on Monday (16 July), George worked for a few days in Print4’s pre-press studio managing platesetters as well as producing and designing images on Photoshop for the company’s social media accounts. He was then moved to work on an Akiyama Extreme 540 B1 five-colour press putting ink in the ducts and changing over coatings.
“Though George was a little shy when he first started, he truly blossomed on his second day,” said Print4 director Matt Boam. “He has been fully hands-on and extremely forthcoming on everything he has been doing – he just absorbs information.
“Some of the guys he has been working with have said he is one of the most switched-on, bright work experience kids they have ever had. He has a very bright future and we would take him on at Print4 without a doubt.
“On his last day, I plan to sit down with him and discuss what his plans are for the future and what he hopes to achieve.”
George has been working closely with printer Michael Collins, who has recently stepped down to a three-day week in anticipation of his retirement next year. Succession planning has been at the forefront for Print4 recently, with two apprentices on its 28-strong team in order to preserve print-related skills for the future of the company and the industry.
The firm runs sheetfed litho work on two Akiyama Extreme presses, alongside digital and wide-format on a selection of Canon machines, secure fulfilment work and a full gamut of finishing capabilities.
Boam said: “We invest heavily in young people, it is totally the way forward. One of our apprentices has just qualified fully this week and we are known locally to take on work experience in order to pass those skills on.”
Moving forward, Print4 has started making plans for 930sqm of land at the back of its 1,160sqm premises that is presenting “room for expansion”. It currently turns over £3.65m.