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FESPA UK looks to identify skills and training gaps with new survey

by FESPA | 06/02/2017
FESPA UK looks to identify skills and training gaps with new survey

FESPA UK Association is encouraging printers across the UK to complete its Training Needs Survey to help guide the future of training in the wide format printing industry.

Peter Kiddell, a director at the association, which represents printers and manufacturers within the wide-format, specialist and industrial printing sectors, said: “Automation is increasing its influence in printing companies and productivity continues to improve."

"The level of sophistication within printing companies is increasing apace - not just moving to digital printing, but having a manufacturing process that is fully integrated and streamlined to respond to market demands. Successful companies drive for improved profitability not just increased sales."

“Building productivity requires an increase in the knowledge requirements of team members. They need a broader understanding of, materials, resources, methods, and technology. One printer recently told me that If we are not careful, we will end up with a workforce of button pushers and companies will be solely reliant on support from equipment suppliers."

"Successful organisations will build on supplier-provided expertise as a launch pad to create the essential difference with a highly skilled workforce that is necessary for success. Building productivity requires an increase in the knowledge requirements of team members.”

“The survey will give us an insight into what people want and the areas they think they need training in. Based on that we can then talk to our members, particularly our board members who are very keen to do this, and ask them what they can offer and see how we can tie that in with what the colleges have and so on,” said Kiddell.

“The current training providers are great on health and safety and communication but are struggling when it comes down to things like running printing machinery or operating software.

“A friend of mine said it’s a nuisance when you’ve got a person running a digital printing machine and all they’re doing is pushing buttons. They don’t actually know what’s happening, how important the condition of the substrate is or how temperature or humidity will affect it. And do they understand colour?

He adds: “Our aim is to facilitate this training because print companies don’t just want button pushers but people that understand what’s happening.”

The survey will be sent out to all of FESPA UK Association’s members and Kiddell hopes to see a healthy level of response by the association’s next board meeting at the end of February.

“We feel the survey is extremely important for us to get a snapshot of training needs. By spending five minutes completing the survey, respondents will indicate the areas they would like to develop so that we can help provide the necessary support,” Kiddell concludes. 

Printers can access the survey by clicking here.

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