Print Scotland seeks to plug the succession gap in Scotland’s print industry

Gary RIchmond, Print Scotland

Scotland’s printing sector employs 6,000 people, and has been a powerhouse of Scottish industry, with participants ranging from small-scale digital businesses, to whisky label printers, commercial colour printers and on to the country’s newspapers and thriving book printing industries. However, experts say the industry will face a succession gap as soon as 2030.

Print Scotland, the trade association and voice of Scotland’s graphic communication industry, is looking to plug that gap with the provision of modern apprenticeship opportunities for members — those in the manufacturing side of the print industry — and associate members that supply the manufacturers.

Garry Richmond, who was appointed director of Print Scotland last year, said, “With all the changes in technology, print has been seen as something of a sunset industry. But nothing could be further from the truth. Print is just another communication platform and a highly effective one, and we aim to help our members with apprentice recruitment, a cogent voice in the corridors of power, genuine cost saving benefits, professional guidance on compliance with legislation and much more.”

Print Scotland has seen new members signing up in unprecedented numbers since Garry launched its recruitment campaign last year. This includes companies such as international giant Kodak to Glasgow-based PR Print.

Other new members include Inchinnan-based ACA Print Finishing and Packaging Solutions, Scotland’s largest print finishing company, which provides high-end finishing processes including foiling, varnishing and book binding.

Richmond said, “We have arrested the fall in print-related business member numbers, and are looking forward now to enrolling more members, representing their interests at the highest levels of government decision-making, and placing greater numbers of modern apprentices with our members.

“Our apprenticeship opportunity programmes are open to non-members, but we are encouraging everyone in Scotland’s graphic communication industry to board the Print Scotland train, and let our community of experts speak with one voice.”

New members of Print Scotland include International Finishing Systems (IFS), which provides bespoke finishing equipment to the industry; Glasgow-based digital operators Push Print; digital and wide-format specialists Love & Humphrey’s; Matic Media of Coatbridge, and Multiprint in Kirkcaldy.