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Apprenticeships – Best Practice in Recruitment

February 6, 2024

The printing and graphics communications industry is a dynamic and evolving field that relies on skilled professionals. industry has long been a cornerstone of our visual culture, shaping the way we consume information and experience the world around us. However, the industry is not without its challenges with it seeing an increasing skills gap and an aging workforce. One potent solution to these challenges lies in the strategic recruitment of apprentices. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the challenges confronting the print industry and explore how apprenticeships can play a pivotal role in securing its future

The Print Industry’s Challenges:

  • Digital Transformation: In an increasingly digital world, print is no longer the sole medium for disseminating information. Digital alternatives, such as e-books, online publications, and digital marketing, have gained prominence, challenging the traditional print business model.
  • Technological Advancements: Printing technology has evolved rapidly, requiring a highly skilled workforce to operate advanced machinery and meet industry standards for quality and efficiency.
  • Aging Workforce: Many experienced professionals in the print industry are nearing retirement, creating a knowledge gap that needs to be filled with new, skilled talent.
  • Sustainability Concerns: Environmental consciousness is growing, leading to increased scrutiny of the industry’s ecological footprint. Print businesses must adapt to meet eco-friendly standards.

Apprenticeships as a Solution:

  • Customised Skill Development: Apprenticeships allow businesses to mould apprentices according to their specific needs. Whether it’s mastering the intricacies of digital printing, understanding sustainable printing practices, or excelling in graphic design, apprenticeships can be tailored to the industry’s evolving demands.
  • Knowledge Transfer: Apprenticeships provide a mechanism for experienced print professionals to transfer their knowledge to the next generation. Mentoring ensures that industry expertise and best practices are preserved and passed down.
  • Technological Proficiency: As print technology advances, apprenticeships provide an ideal platform for apprentices to gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge equipment and software. This ensures that the industry remains at the forefront of technological innovation.
  • Sustainability Focus: Apprenticeships can incorporate sustainability training, fostering a new generation of print professionals who are well-versed in eco-friendly practices. This can help print businesses align with environmentally conscious consumers and regulations.
  • Diverse Career Pathways: Apprenticeships open doors to diverse career pathways within the print and graphics communications sector. Whether an apprentice seeks a creative role in graphic design, a technical role in print production, or leadership apprenticeships can cater to their aspirations.

Best Practices for Recruiting Apprentices in the Print Industry:

Identify Your Needs:

Before you start recruiting, it’s essential to define the specific roles and skills you require. Assess your current workforce and pinpoint areas where additional talent is needed. Consider the various aspects of the industry, such as graphic design, prepress, printing, finishing, and digital marketing, business, and leadership skills to determine the skill sets required.

Partner with Training Providers:

Collaborating with apprenticeship training providers like BPIF Training, which specialises in the print and graphics communications sector, can streamline the recruitment process. We can help you access a pool of motivated and aspiring apprentices and provide guidance on the apprenticeship programs available.

Develop a Clear Job Description:

Craft a detailed job description that outlines the responsibilities, qualifications, and desired skills for the apprenticeship role. Be transparent about the learning and development opportunities you offer and the potential for career progression within your organisation.

Promote Your Opportunity:

Utilise various recruitment channels to reach potential apprentices. Share your job posting on your website, social media platforms, industry forums, and through local educational institutions. Engage with industry-specific job boards and associations to target candidates interested in print and graphics communications.

Highlight Career Progression:

Emphasise the long-term career prospects within the industry to attract ambitious candidates. The print and graphics communications sector offers diverse career pathways, from graphic design and printing to management roles and entrepreneurship. Show how the apprenticeship program can lead to a fulfilling career.

Offer Competitive Compensation:

To attract top talent, ensure that your apprenticeship program offers competitive compensation. This may include a competitive hourly wage, benefits, and potential bonuses based on performance. Highlight these perks in your recruitment materials.

Conduct Thorough Interviews:

Screen applicants carefully to assess their suitability for the apprenticeship role. In addition to evaluating their technical skills and qualifications, consider their enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and compatibility with your company culture.

Provide Comprehensive Training:

Once you’ve recruited an apprentice, invest in their development. We will work with you to offer a structured training plan that covers both on and off-the-job training and formal education. Encourage mentors within your organisation to guide apprentices and provide hands-on experience.

Foster a Supportive Environment:

Create a nurturing environment that promotes learning and growth. Regularly check in with apprentices to provide feedback, assess their progress, and address any concerns. A supportive workplace culture can enhance retention and job satisfaction.

Promote Apprenticeship Success Stories:

Highlight success stories of apprentices who have excelled within your organisation. Sharing these stories can inspire prospective apprentices and demonstrate the value of your program.

BPIF Training is a catalyst for the future of the print and graphics communications industry by empowering a new generation of skilled professionals who are ready to take on the industry’s evolving landscape. Embracing our apprenticeship programs and recruitment support ensures that print businesses can not only survive but thrive in an ever-changing visual communication arena, securing a vibrant and sustainable future for the industry.

Join forces with BPIF Training to shape the future of print!

Get in touch today via https://factoryofwonder.org/contact/ or via training@bpif.org.uk 

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