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Packaging firms join forces to address skills shortage in sector

Packaging Solutions

Two leading packaging manufacturers have joined forces in a bid to address the skills shortage within the industry.

Stockport based Arden Dies and Glossop Cartons have teamed up to try and attract more young people, both male and female, into the sector.

The two family owned firms, who operate in the carton manufacturing supply chain, will tour schools, colleges and job clubs across the region to promote the benefits of manufacturing and engineering careers within the sustainable packaging sector.

The partnership comes after the British Chamber of Commerce revealed the manufacturing industry is facing its greatest skills shortage in 30 years.

Martin Poynter, managing director at Arden Dies, said: ‘There is a real lack of awareness among young people coming through the education system today about the opportunities available within the packaging and printing sectors.

‘We are the UK’s leading die maker and this is a booming industry, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract new talent, and this issue is compounded by an ageing workforce across the sector, so it is more crucial than ever that we find the next generation of skilled workers.

‘There’s a real drive at the moment for more sustainable packaging as the world strives to move away from plastic and looks towards environmentally friendly alternatives, so there has never been a better time to join this industry.

‘We are delighted to join forces with Glossop Cartons, who as a family owned company like ourselves, share our values and commitment to delivering sustainable packaging. Together we hope to show young people that the packaging industry can provide a bright and promising career path.’

Arden Dies, which is part of the Arden Group also comprising Arden Engraving and Arden Software, was established in 1964 and specialises in die and tooling manufacture for the packaging and carton industry.

Glossop Cartons, which was established in 1982 and produces cartonboard products, already has a number of successful educational partnerships and provides work experience placements and careers talks in Stockport schools, but hopes the partnership with Arden will help them reach even more young people across the North West.

Jacky Sidebottom-Every, joint managing director at Glossop Cartons, and who also sits on the board of the British Printing Industries Federation, says she would like to see more women considering a career in the packaging sector.

She added, ‘It is crucial that we are active and dynamic in promoting the packaging industry as a career choice to both men and women. It is a fantastic industry with lots of varied, high tech machinery and demanding roles that need to attract high calibre trainees to both secure continuity of skills and also the sustainability of our industry going forward.

Traditionally, the printing and carton industries have been quite male orientated environments and it is rare to see women in the technical roles, but this should not be and must not be the case. There is no reason at all why women should not embrace the rewarding careers and opportunities available to them in the modern printing sector.’

As part of the scheme, the two firms will even be targeting primary schools to run educational sessions on trees, recycling and sustainability in a bid to introduce the packaging supply chain to children from a young age.

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