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15 February 2024

Young People In Print (YPIP) Group Launches

Young People In Print (YPIP) Group Launches

A newly established group dedicated to inspiring the next generation by bridging the gap between education and the dynamic world of printing has announced its launch.

With a mission to cultivate a passion for entering the printing industry among young minds, the group of volunteers will deliver engaging events held at printing facilities across the UK welcoming groups of students from local schools and universities. 

Joining Elizabeth Bowerman Head of UK Sales at Stephen Austin & Sons are Paul Stead of ASL Group, Joanna Stephenson of PHD Marketing, Kelvin Bell of VPress, Lucy Swanston of the SMP and Nutshell Creative and Delroy Simmons of Dayfold. 

Bowerman, a long-term advocate of the need to attract young talent into the industry to ensure the future success of the sector, comments: “We are reaching out to schools and universities to enable students to see for themselves how amazing the print and packaging industries really are.”

With an annual turnover of £13.7 billion and employing around 98,000 people in 7,200 companies, the UK printing sector is an important economic contributor in all UK regions and is the fifth largest print market in the world.* It is also an advanced manufacturing sector, utilising cutting-edge innovation and production technologies, connecting organisations around the world. Despite this, attracting young people to work in the industry continues to be a challenge. 

“It has an ageing skilled workforce and the number of tradespeople working in print is plummeting - by 73% between 2006 and 2021 according to the latest data*” Elizabeth shares. “Workers are approaching retirement and there is a risk their skills will be lost, which could have serious consequences for our industry if not mitigated.

“Sadly, our industry has an old-fashioned image, and there is very limited print or packaging education available today, apart from print apprenticeships, but even then, not all printers are using their levy to fund employees,” she explains, citing negative (yet false) environmental perceptions and competition from better-publicised industries like aviation, engineering, automotive and biotech, among other barriers to encouraging young people to the sector.

“YPIP has been established to promote the industry as a far more dynamic, high-tech, innovative, connected, and exciting place to work with clear career progression routes and opportunities” says Elizabeth. 

The group will connect print facilities with local schools and universities to promote print as an attractive career and showcase its realities, opportunities and benefits and will hold its first event in March 2024. 

For more information on Young People in Print or to get involved, please visit www.ypip.co.uk

*Source UK Printing Facts and Figures, BPIF (2023 data)


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