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Print Scotland celebrates Scottish apprentices

High achievers have been celebrated at the ninth annual Scottish Apprentice of Year Awards

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[L to R] Garry Richmond and Susan Graham, Print Scotland; Jack Campbell, Deacon Brothers; Adam Dobbie, Newsprinters UK; Gordon Sally and Jack Clark, Bell & Bain; Liam Thomson, FLB Group; Jim McKenzie, apprentice trainer

Print Scotland, a federation which supports its members with financial support and employment advice, has recognised the achievements of print apprentices at the ninth annual Apprentice of the Year Awards.

The ceremony, which was held in Glasgow, give Print Scotland the opportunity to advocate for the industry to attract more young people into print through a speech by Print Scotland president, Susan Graham.

Graham said: “Print is still here, present in all our lives. It is a renewable resource, it is tactile and people, across the globe, continue to use it every day, not just to inform and entertain themselves, but also to organise their lives. We need to grow our own to control our own success.

“So, as well as congratulating today’s award-winners, my message to the young people of Scotland is that a career in the print industry continues to be rewarding, satisfying and important to the health and strength of our economy and one that I urge them to consider.”

Winners of the Pre-Press, Press, and Post-Press awards were Jack Campbell from Deacon Brothers in Kirkintilloch, Adam Dobbie from Newsprinters UK in Eurocentral, and Jack Clark from Bell & Bain in Glasgow.

The award for Mentor of the Year went to Gordon Sally, also from Bell & Bain, while the Overall Apprentice award went to Liam Thomson from FLB Group in Dalkeith.

Thomson said: “I was lucky enough to have a neighbour who worked at FLB and recommended I apply for an apprenticeship.”

Liam Thomson, Overall Apprentice of the Year winner, and Susan Graham president of Print Scotland

Training officer Jim McKenzie added: “Liam started out quietly but has gone on to do really well. What makes Liam stand out is that he’s taken all his learnings on board very quickly and his manager, Tony McGuire, says he is an integral member of the production team and one of the strongest apprentices FLB has had.”

The winners have all overcome a number of challenges and hurdles reflecting their commitment and the changing nature of the modern print industry. 

Jim McKenzie added: “Jack (Clark) started his apprenticeship when the process was pre-computerised and struggled a bit because he is mildly dyslexic. He is flourishing now that his work has been computerised. 

“After last year’s Award ceremony Jack told me that he would be among the winners this year, and he’s proved to be right! This shows both talent and determination.”

Jack Clark, Post-Press Apprentice of the Year winner, and Susan Graham president of Print Scotland

As an association Print Scotland provides training for modern apprentices through its Scottish Training Scheme which provides a grant from the Scottish Government to cover the cost of the training while also providing a range of vocational certifications.

Garry Richmond, director of Print Scotland, concluded: “Refreshing and enhancing our talent bank of printing expertise is vital as an increasing cohort of highly experienced print professionals reach retirement age.

“With this new stream of print apprentices present today, whose ability, aptitude and potential we recognise in the distribution of these awards, we can be cautiously optimistic about the future of our industry.

“The print sector has significantly enhanced its support for apprentices in recent years and is definitely seeing the benefit of this forward-looking approach for employers and individuals. 

“We urge the Scottish Government and its agencies to reinforce our success by continuing to invest significantly to allow us to create more opportunities for our young people.”

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