Making the most of the General Election
As an industry, we've been used to sailing the winds of change, and ‘turning challenges into opportunities' has become the norm among printers. The next obvious change is the 2017 General Election, and true to form, we're doing all we can to make the most of it. This month, we are asking all parliamentary election candidates - and therefore potential MPs - to sign our ‘Pledge for Print'.
The Pledge asks them, if they are elected, to commit to supporting the print industry, to be productive and profitable, as well as helping to promote the power of print. In addition to signing the Pledge, we are asking candidates to visit printers in their constituencies to discuss the unique challenges they face and how Government could help them.
We have also been reminding candidates of the importance of print to their election campaign. From the policy-packed election address candidates send to households in their constituency, to the attention grabbing 'remember to vote' leaflets that will drop through the door before 8am on polling day. Not forgetting the multi-page features-packed magazines handed out to commuters outside stations across the land by candidates with a suburban constituency (and a well-funded campaign), print is crucial.
Once the election is over, we will be contacting those candidate who signed our Pledge and subsequently won their seats. We'll be asking them to join the All Party Parliamentary Print Group and to come along to our annual summer reception. Here we will launch our Priorities for Print document to the new Parliament - explaining exactly what they can do to support our industry.
We've often noted at the BPIF how the printing industry has become a master of flexibility and adaptation, taking advantage of new technologies to innovate and reach new customers, as well as adapting to the challenges of the economic environment and surprises such as Brexit. A trade body should represent its members in behaviour as well as views - being nimble, fleet of foot and ready to respond. While we didn't expect a General Election, we hope to make the most of it and gain additional support for print.
The Trailblazer Consortium continues to press its case for an appropriate approach to the new Print Apprenticeship Standards, which will replace the existing Frameworks.
Business rates represent a significant cost to ratepayers of commercial property across the UK, which have been exacerbated by the recent Rating Revaluation which came into effect on the 1 April 2017.