Training Skills Time Bomb

Crisis in UK printing Industry

Colin Thompson ,

The Printing Industry turns their backs on training people because of costs they cannot afford, but they can invest in their people if they plan for their future with the right strategy?

`A skills time bomb`, that is what the Printing Industry have passed their vote on by not backing the investment on training of people for the future. At this present rate there will be no future!

The `traditional` printing industry needs people with specialist, technical skills but also literacy, numerically and management ability. It also has an ageing workforce of an average age of 50 years, which will be a real pressure over the next five to ten years.

What is wrong with the Print Industry mentality, by not `investing` in their workforce, but spending millions of £`s on new machinery and skimp on the investment in training the people? Is this the mentality of educated management? People make profit, not the latest gismo. Also, why is the Print Industry afraid of Business Models to help them raise their `bottom-line`?

The Skills in England report shows that only 38% of the workforce have NVQ level qualifications or above, compared to 73% in Germany. In terms of both technical abilities and basic skills, the UK is classed as a third world country. There are about 1400 apprentices in Germany and the BPIF have announced that BPIF members are training only ??. The UK Print Industry needs to wake up to the vast amount of training that is taking place in other countries, because if we continue at the present rate in the UK we will not have a Commercial Print Industry within the next 15 years.

I believe Unite/GPM are right when they stated " It's about getting a `genuine` return for the business", which includes investment into the workforce to survive.

The Unite/GPM cannot be accused of being against training, as they are the major drivers for money to be invested into the industry. The BPIF members however have voted to deliver failure with their refusal to accept the levy or investment by individual companies. The BPIF membership is only about 2,500 companies? out of a possible 30,000 companies that can print in the UK, therefore they represent a very minor number of companies. 

Also, a separate lobby by BPIF Training, which is probably facing financial issues, are to try and extract tax payers money from the UK Government to subsidise their training unit that their member companies should use to train the people who enter the Printing Industry to secure the future. But, the number of people entering the Printing Industry are so few, therefore the future looks alarming. Coupled with the fact the BPIF Training unit have lost so many skilled and experienced trainers and lecturers over the last five years. 

The answer could be to introduce a tripartite business model on the lines of the Dutch system where union, employers and the colleges agree together what training provision and investment is needed. This is a very successful 

At this present rate of non-investment into training the Digital Printing age will happen rapidly!

The other key issues continue to hamper the Print Manufacturing organisations that do not change in this global trading environment. These organisations need to wake up to the reality of life, listen to experienced/skilled successful people who can help, take on board business models and Non-Executive Directors to help them operate more efficiently and manage the management of change. To be successful in this global trading environment you need all these business tools to survive in the future, so take them on board and find success!

Organisations will be successful, if they have the `right` people with the passion, experience/skills together with the business models to forge the way ahead in the world of change. Plus, invest into people with on-going training programmes to have a successful future.

Be positive, have passion to be successful and have a `strategy` for this rapid change. 

What will the future look like?


Colin Thompson

Colin Thompson

CEO | Business Coach | Speaker | Author

Colin Thompson is Managing Partner of Cavendish, a firm specializing in the development of businesses and individuals.

Also, a Keynote speaker and Seminar Leader.

Prior to founding his firm, Cavendish in 1998 Colin was a former successful Managing Director of Transactional/Print Manufacturing Plants, Document/Management/Workflow Solutions companies and other organisations, former Group Chairman of the Academy for Chief Executive, Non-Executive Director, Mentor - RFU Leadership Academy, Mentor - Coventry University, Mentor - Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, helping companies raise their `bottom-line` and `increase cash flow`. Plus, helping individuals to be successful in business and life in general. 

Author of several publications, research reports, guides, business and educational models on CD-ROM/Software/PDF and over 2000 articles and 35 books published on bu

colin@cavendish-mr.org.uk | http://cavendish-mr.org.uk/


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