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Outstanding Scottish print industry apprentices are honoured

Print Solutions

Print Scotland, the trade association and voice of Scotland’s graphic communication industry, has held its fourth 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: ‘There is, without question, a widespread recognition that we need to employ more apprentices to sustain Scotland’s print sector and the need to encourage more apprentices from an increasingly diverse range of backgrounds entering our industry.

‘The sterling efforts of our leading young apprentices in getting to grips with the challenges of a rewarding career in print and print finishing are being acknowledged with these awards.’

From left to right: Arran Rennie, James Taylor, Erin McCarthy, Louise Docherty and James McCredie.

The winners of the 2019 Apprentice of the Year Awards were:

Overall Apprentice of Year – James Taylor, Bell & Bain (Glasgow).

Level 3 Pre Press – Erin McCarthy, Amer Sports, (North Ayrshire).

Level 3 Post Press – James McCredie, Bell & Bain (Glasgow).

Level 3 Press Administration, Louise Docherty, Bell and Bain, (Glasgow).

Level 3 Press – Arran Rennie, Publicity Printing, (Glasgow).

The awards event in Glasgow, attended by family and friends of the winners, sponsors such as Antalis, HP and Muller Martini, and a cross section of Print Scotland members, was addressed by Print Scotland’s president, Kevin Creechan, managing director of J Thomson Colour Printers, who congratulated the winners and wished them highly successful careers as the industry’s leaders of tomorrow.

He said, ‘The print industry in Scotland has a real future across a range of skill sets 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. The high calibre young people we have celebrated today is very much what our industry needs.’

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.

The winners

James Taylor, 22, and born in Glasgow, took home the Apprentice of the year award which is sponsored by Antalis, HP, Muller Martini and Print Scotland. James works for Bell & Bain, one of the largest and oldest independent UK books, journal printers and binders. James lives in the Robroyston area of Glasgow, where he grew up, and attended Bishopbriggs Academy. He joined Bell & Bain three years ago after spells in the electrical engineering and retail sectors and has ambitions to move into a business management role within the company.

Louise Docherty, 26, won the accolade of Print Administration Apprentice of the year, an award sponsored by Print Scotland. Louise, 26, graduated in cellular biology at Stirling University before finding her niche as a printing trade apprentice. She has worked for three years at Bell & Bain and intends to develop her career in the print industry. Louise grew up in Bishopbriggs, in the north of Glasgow and attended Bishopbriggs Academy. Away from work, she is a keen fan of rugby, ‘watching, not playing’, she insists.

James McCredie, 23, from Glasgow, won the Level 3 Post Press Apprentice of the year award. This award, sponsored by Muller Martini, relates to post pressing work, namely mechanised print finishing. James, who attended Woodfarm High School on Glasgow’s south side is a post press operator for Bell & Bain. He is about to enter the fourth year of his apprenticeship and staying in the print industry is his aim. James was surprised to win. He describes working at Bell and Bain as ‘hard work and there are no easy days in the business, but I enjoy it’.

Erin McCarthy, 18, won the Level 3 Pre Press apprentice of the Year Award, which is sponsored by Antalis and HP. This category celebrates outstanding skill in the pre-printing aspects of the trade, such as graphic design, digital print and origination. Currently on maternity leave from Amer Sports in Irvine, North Ayrshire, where she undertakes graphic design related work, Dalry based Erin is the mother of two boys, Damien, 6 and Oran, 7 months. She studied art at college and despite being a busy mum, managed to cram her two year apprenticeship into one year. Erin grew up in Paisley where she attended St. Andrews High School.

Arran Rennie, 18 and born in Glasgow, won the Level 3 Post Press Apprentice of the Year award which is sponsored by Muller Martini. Press is the category covering physical printing, be it lithographic or flexographic. A former pupil of Bannerman High School, Arran has worked for two years at Publicity Printing in Glasgow’s Shawland and aspires to master the craft of digital printing. Arran grew up and continues to live in Baillieston, on the east side of Glasgow.

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