The Printing Charity has awarded 91 grants to young people – the highest number yet – in this year’s Print Futures Awards, with female recipients dominating the education initiative.
The winners were announced at the House of Lords yesterday evening (26 July), at an event hosted by Lord Black of Brentwood.
He paid tribute to the late Brenda Dean, Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, a long-time supporter of the event who died earlier this year.
“The Print Futures Awards are always a great cause for celebration, but this year it also one tinged with great sadness as for many years it was hosted by Baroness Dean,” he said.
“We all feel her loss terribly, she was an icon in the industry and an energetic champion of young people. Brenda would have been particularly thrilled that there is no gender gap here and 70% of the winners are women.”
Lord Black said that “talent will always flourish” and urged the winners to take pride in their achievements.
There were 302 entries this year, and 91 winners who receive a grant of up to £1,500 to further their personal and skills development.
This year 20 winners came from the printing industry, with a wide range of firms from across the country represented, including: Communisis, DC Thomson, Hobbs the Printers, Paragon Customer Communications, Adare SEC, VisionOn, ProCo, PMG Print Management, Precision Printing, Bell & Bain, Gilmour & Dean, Vpress, Warwick Printing and GPI.
Chloe Johnson, an apprentice in the creative/pre-press studio at PMG Print Management in Batley, was among the printing industry winners. PMG managing director Mike Roberts said: "Chloe is a real star. She's been with us for five years and has become our benchmark for apprentices. She's a shining light and a real joy to work with, and the enthusiasm she brings to her job is a real credit to her personal qualities."
Hannah Allsworth, an account developer at ProCo, said she would use her grant to help cover expenses while studying for a BPIF Level 5 Management Leadership and Management course.
ProCo chief executive Jon Bailey commented: "We focus on talent management and bringing new people into the industry and the business. It's crucial to keep new blood coming in, and for them to grow and progress," he said.
"It's easy to have a management structure that stops people breaking through. Print Futures allows people to be seen, and shows them that they don't have to be stuck in a certain role. Hannah is an account manager now, but she is committed to business management and strategy."
Two members of the BPIF’s team were also among the successful applicants.
Other fields strongly represented were publishing, which had the most winners, and journalism.
The full list of winners can be found here.
The Printing Charity chief executive Neil Lovell said that Print Futures also helped to highlight the multitude of different opportunities that were available.
“It shows young people that this is a vibrant, multi-disciplinary sector. We have so many roles represented among the winners, and a huge variety of skills being celebrated from all parts of the UK.”
The awards were sponsored by Unite the Union, The Book Trade Charity and Saxoprint; and supported by the BPIF, the Journalists’ Charity and the St Bride Foundation.
PrintWeek editor and publisher Darryl Danielli was on the judging panel.