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June 2017

Strong industry support for quality print apprenticeships

Strong industry support for quality print apprenticeships

The Trailblazer Consortium continues to press its case for an appropriate approach to the new Print Apprenticeship Standards, which will replace the existing Frameworks.

The Consortium, which includes the BPIF, Unite the Union, Ryedale Group, Oxuniprint, BCQ Group, CDi Yorkshire, Multi Packaging Solutions, Westferry Printers, Page Bros, De La Rue and The Printing Charity were disappointed with the ESFA response in December 2016 that, rather than offering a ‘core plus options' approach, the standard should be simplified to a ‘one size fits all' approach. In the Consortium's view this would have led to a reduction in the quality of an apprenticeship as an individual would be required to become a generalist across pre-press, press and bindery, rather than their preferred approach, which was to develop a specialism in one area while at the same time having a general understanding of the other areas.

A call to the industry for views resulted in a strong response (over 50 entities), all strongly supporting the employer-led consortium's approach. This industry feedback, strongly indicating the need for high quality employer-led apprenticeships, has been taken into account by the Institute for Apprenticeships in reviewing the sector's needs. The IFA has now given initial feedback that it has listened after meeting with the Consortium's Chair, James Buffoni of Ryedale Group, and Vice Chair, Ian Wilton of Oxuniprint, and will support the ‘core plus options' approach.

Ursula Daly, Coordinator for the Consortium, commented, "we were really impressed with the way that the industry and the trade press understood the debate and then provided strong and clear feedback supporting the Trailblazer Consortium. The level of responses went way beyond anything we dared hope for, and it's helped us communicate a really robust message about the sector's needs. I can't overstate how appreciative we are, and the consortium members - who are all dedicating a great deal of time and effort to this - are greatly reassured by the level of support across the industry."

To follow the efforts of the Print Trailblazer Consortium, visit

For more information contact BPIF Marketing Director, Amy Hutchinson, at


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For more information please contact:
Amy Hutchinson
Amy Hutchinson