Print Scotland celebrated the new blood in the print industry with its fourth annual apprentice awards, while appealing for more support to expand training intake.
The gala event was held last week in Glasgow with around 60 attendees including family and friends of the winners, sponsors such as Antalis, HP and Muller Martini and members of Print Scotland.
James Taylor, an apprentice at Glasgow book printer Bell & Bain, won the top prize as overall Apprentice of the Year. His colleagues James McCredie and Louise Docherty won the post-press and press administration prizes.
The list of winners was rounded out by Erin McCarthy at Amer Sports in North Ayrshire for pre-press and Arran Rennie of Publicity Printing, Glasgow, for press.
Print Scotland director Garry Richmond said: “When judging apprentices for these awards, we are looking for dedication, the will to work to their own initiative and aptitude in their chosen print field whether that be machinery, admin or digital.
“It is important to award and promote these schemes due to the lack of succession planning and the widening gap between the number of apprentices we have and the number we need. It keeps the flame burning and shows that Print Scotland will keep it going.
“Although we have the highest number of apprentices year-on-year, we need more. Print is still standing and offers strong and varied career paths that I would encourage anyone to look at. You can go from print apprentice to sales director or anywhere else.”
Richmond spoke about the need to support companies that might struggle with the additional costs of paying apprentices and appealed for more wage support and a more streamlined system to get subsidies to the firms that need them.
Print Scotland provides training for modern apprentices through the Scottish Training Scheme which provides a grant from the Scottish government to cover the cost of training, as well as Scottish vocational qualifications and modern apprenticeship certification.