24 Oct 2021

CMYUK apprenticeships support next generation of printers

CMYUK apprentice Harry Norton

Wide format print technology provider CMYUK is supporting the next generation of print specialists, with the appointment of a Digital Pre-press and Digital Printing apprentice.

Harry Norton, 17, took up the post in September, and will spend around two and a half years undertaking in-house training and specialist accredited courses run by manufacturers from across the print industry.

Director Robin East said: “We were keen to take on and give opportunities to a local young person. With no previous experience of the older systems and print methods, we felt this would help them pick up the new, modern techniques with no distractions.

“We also wanted a young person with enthusiasm who wanted to learn, and Harry is proving to be perfect for the position. He’s fitted in really well with the team and is playing a full role in the successful day to day running of our Training and Demo Centre.”

Harry’s apprenticeship has been designed and is run by the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF), the only organisation in the UK running such schemes.
And according to the BPIF, with the average age of the print workforce sitting at 48 years old, the recruitment of young employees is essential to lead businesses into the future.
Steve Power, BPIF Training Coordinator said: “Harry’s apprenticeship includes modules on the foundation of print and the industry, plus areas such as health and safety, communicating within the printing organisation, and the running and maintenance of print presses. He and his mentor will also get to choose more specific optional units, which makes the course very bespoke to the learner’s surroundings.

“I went through a BPIF apprenticeship 20 years ago at the start of my own career, so I can relate to the learners. I’ll be visiting Harry every six or seven weeks to see how he is getting on and set specific goals to help him take the first steps in his own successful career, whichever pathway he chooses.”

Robin added: “We intend to start another apprentice at the same time next year, as well as taking on new staff from the market. It’s important to invest in skills or we’ll all face a shortage of qualified people.

“We received a £1,500 grant to provide specialist training during the apprenticeship. Harry will be undertaking accredited training from Adobe including beginners and advanced Illustrator and Photoshop. In addition CMYUK will provide advanced training on EFI/ VUTEk printers, Mimaki printers and cutters, MTEX sublimation printers and Zünd cutters.

“We wanted to invest in Harry so that he develops key skills that will set him up in a new career in wide format printing and ensure that by investing in him he will want to stay and work with us for the long term.”

Harry said he took up the apprenticeship as design interests him. He said: “The apprenticeship is going really well – as well as doing the training I’m working in the demo and training centre, operating all the printers with the Zünd cutting table to produce samples.

“I was delighted when I was offered this apprenticeship scheme - this training at CMYUK is a great opportunity for me. I’m enjoying myself and learning a lot, and am very excited about my future career options.”