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The BPIF works with students on industry focused projects

February 21, 2022

The BPIF works with students on industry focused projects

Engaging with generation Z is key to understanding the future of business. The print industry includes an older demographic – the average age for an employee in the industry is 43 and only 9.5% of employees are 16-24 and 19.2% are 25-34. Source: BPIF Research estimates based on analysis of ONS data (2020).

Working with the younger generation allows the BPIF to educate them on the vast scope of the industry, its focuses and opportunities.

The BPIF is currently working with Leeds Beckett University to provide students with print related consultancy projects; these projects are part of their final assessments. We have third year and MBA students engaging in research projects that give them the opportunity to learn about the industry, communicate with company leaders through conducting primary research. This is achieved by the students working closely with the BPIF and members. The following project titles are being researched:

  • Employee talent – is there any evidence to suggest companies with a proactive approach to sustainability benefit from attracting the best talent and retain more talent as a result of this approach?
  • What are the emerging technology trends which will impact retail in the UK?
  • How can retailers capitalise on social media to engage with their target customers?
  • How can brands avoid Greenwashing?
  • How will the consumer of the future shop?
  • Why do businesses choose to offset their carbon footprint rather than investing in carbon reduction and mitigation?

The students will submit their research to the University and it will also be available to BPIF members as a white paper in summer 2022 to provide the industry with important insight that will help it sustain and grow. Providing insight on:

  • Is carbon offsetting greenwashing?
  • The future of the QR code
  • How print will influence the retail digital space?
  • Is print relevant in the social space?
  • What generations see a company’s sustainable credentials as important?

The retail focused project research provided will be very relevant to companies in the following special/sector interest groups Labels, Cartons, Display & POS and Creative Digital Industries (CDI). The environmental focused project research will provide all companies with insight and direction.

We are looking to engage with other universities on student projects and will have further active project topics from September 2022.

Ever worked with a designer that doesn’t know print processes and how to get artwork print ready? This is a common issue in the industry and this is due to a large percentage of college and university design course not including ‘designing for print’ in their curriculum. The BPIF is working to develop a module that colleges and universities can add on as an extracurricular activity which will educate them on how to design artwork for printed products. The module will include the following as example:

  • Printing processes
  • Pre-press
  • Print ready files
  • Colour
  • Resolution
  • Trim & bleed
  • Sizing

This initiative will be led by the BPIF Technical Forum and they will be working closely with universities, print companies and other industry bodies to develop a module that will not only educate our future designers but provide them with an insight into the print industry as a career path and provide the opportunity for on-the-job training.

The BPIF aims to create a Student Engagement group as a membership benefit which will help support companies with engaging with colleges, universities and potentially secondary schools to help educate on the print industry. To help the print, packaging and digital industry address the much-publicised skills and age gap, in the industry. The group will work to develop resources that will ensure future generations are informed of the print, media, digital and graphics industry as an interesting and valued career path.

Objectives
  • • Promoting the industry to students, educators, careers hubs and associations.
  • • Increasing the number and quality of industry apprentices.
  • • Improving relationships between the printing sector and the educational sector.
  • • Providing companies with easy access to resources and a framework with which to engage with schools, colleges and universities.
Aims
  • Create a number of platforms and frameworks for members to engage with young people to make them aware of the roles and career opportunities in the industry.
  • Create opportunities for involvement in initiatives and events that can drive increased uptake of print apprenticeships in order to attract young people into print.
  • Provide stakeholders with guidance and access to tools and resources to help with events and projects.
  • Provide stakeholders with guidance and tools to enable easy support of your local school and community by providing careers advice and information.
  • Develop an avenue for your company to engage in corporate social activities through enhanced school and community engagement.
  • Develop and improve the pipeline of young learners seeking a role in your business and the industry.
If you require any further information on the student initiative email meeka.walwyn-lewis@bpif.org.uk 

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