Print Scotland, the trade association and voice of Scotland’s graphic communication industry, has honoured four outstanding young apprentices in its sixth annual Scottish Print Apprentice of the Year awards.
The occasion is part of its mission to represent the Scottish print community and to highlight the profile of future leaders of the industry.
Garry Richmond, Director of Print Scotland, said: “Fighting and overcoming the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been at the heart of Scotland’s print businesses over the last 18 months. As essential workers, they have performed superbly.
“We continue to believe that the industry needs to employ more apprentices to sustain Scotland’s print sector by encouraging more apprentices from an increasingly diverse range of backgrounds. These awards recognise outstanding achievement amongst the young people who represent the next generation of our leaders of Scotland’s print sector. While we have been unable, again, to hold our usual annual Apprentice Awards as an occasion, the certificates were mailed and presented to the winners by their respective managers and mentors.
“Print Scotland’s sincere thanks goes to our sponsors David McGinlay of Muller Martini and Stephen Paul of Antalis for supplying the prizes.
“I should also like to put on record our debt of gratitude to Jim McKenzie of Ultimate Learning Solutions who has done a tremendous job in rapidly getting into his new role as Assessor and making a great success of it.”
“I came on board this year as the Assessor for Print Scotland, and it is a great pleasure to be involved in the work-based learning apprenticeship scheme which sees young people learning trade and core skills that will stand by them for life.”
The winners of the 2021 Apprentice of the Year Awards were:
Overall Apprentice of Year –Rachel Lawrie, FLB Group, Dalkeith
Level 3 Post Press – Jake Anderson Hogg, FLB Group, Dalkeith
Level 3 Print Administration – Robby McCann, CCL Labels, East Kilbride
Level 3 Press – Jay Findlater, Newsprinters, Eurocentral
Print Scotland’s President, Iain Robertson, congratulated the winners and wished them highly successful careers as the industry’s leaders of tomorrow.
“Despite these highly unusual circumstances, we continue to celebrate the achievements of our young colleagues in acquiring future-proof skills to take Scotland’s print industry forward.
Our members have demonstrated throughout the COVID-19 lockdown that print is an essential element in a civilised society. The print industry in Scotland has a real future across a range of skillsets and needs a constant flow of high-quality and motivated apprentices in even greater numbers, and from an increasingly diverse range of backgrounds, to fulfil its potential.”
Print Scotland provides training for Modern Apprentices through the Scottish Training Scheme, which provides a grant from the Scottish Government to cover the cost of the training. It also provides a range of Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) as well as Modern Apprenticeship (MA) certification.
More about this year’s Winners
- Aged 20, Rachel Lawrie – Print Administration – Apprentice of The Year, works in Print Administration at FLB Group – Dalkeith, and lives locally. She applied for her apprenticeship through an advertisement and most enjoys the variety of the work, learning new skills and understanding the different processes involved to produce the finished products. Once she completes her apprenticeship, Rachel wishes to pursue a career within the broader print industry and recommends a print industry apprenticeship to others. “Yes”, she said, “I would. I knew nothing about print before I started, and I did not appreciate the processes involved and how technical it is.”
- Jake Anderson Hogg, 19, who won the Post Press award, also works in at FLB Group in Dalkeith. He found his way into the industry having noticed the opportunity to learn new skills on the Skills Development Scotland website. This has proved to be something he greatly enjoys, alongside operating and learning more about the complex, sophisticated machinery employed in the printing industry. One project, working on a job for the House of Commons, where the quality of work was particularly critical, stands out for him. He said: “I like working in an established company in a respected trade.” A dedicated golfer, Jake would highly recommend a print trade apprenticeship to others.
- Aged 19, Jay Findlater, who won the Press (Machine Printing) award works for Newsprinters at Eurocentral and was selected following a recruitment open day run by East Kilbride Group Training Association. He most enjoys the opportunity to learn new skills working for a big print industry company, especially in the variety of the work and learning about newspaper production. Once qualified, he aims to be a fully-fledged printer, running the newspaper presses. A recent highlight was being involved in the re-build of a folder. “A massive job, and very interesting”, he said. Jay, too, would recommend others to do a print apprenticeship: “I knew nothing about print before I started, and I did not appreciate how interesting and technical the production of newspapers is.”
- Robby McCann, 20, who won the Print Administration, followed in his father’s footsteps by joining him at CCL Labels in East Kilbride. He most enjoys learning many new skills and the variety of the work. Once qualified he wants to get involved in the company’s graphic design department.Would he recommend others to do a print apprenticeship? His answer is “yes, for the opportunity to learn new things and the variety of the work.”