With the rise and rise of the Internet and millions and millions of PC’s and laptops with home printers attached many people think that the printing industry, if not dead is certainly on the way out.
In fact nothing could be further from the truth. Walk down any high street, look around your home, visit a supermarket or department store or simply open your wallet or purse and take out a ten pound note. Printing is everywhere. Indeed, without a printing industry life as we know it would be almost impossible.
Print in one sense is the same as the Internet: it conveys information. The Internet does this electronically and print does the same thing in “hard” form. But both achieve the same end of transmitting information.
So jobs in print are not going to disappear any time soon. There will always be great career prospects for those seeking to get into print.
While it has not been unknown for printing firms to fail, it is little different from any other industry in that respect. Walk into any print factory and those great machines will be clattering away all day and every day. Indeed, sometimes there are only a few minutes of silence when the current run has finished until the new job is loaded and the noise resumes.
For those wishing to get into print there are several options. There are two colleges devoted just to the printing industry and many more, which offer graphic design and media courses as part of their curriculum.
Then many printing firms take on trainees or offer apprenticeships where you can “earn while you learn”. This used to be the prerogative of young people, but today there is no age limit. You can change careers at, say, 40 and still find a firm willing to train you, which indicates just how vibrant the modern printing industry, is.
There are also courses, which give you background knowledge, and training in key skills such as numeracy, literacy, problem solving and IT. Print Technical Certificates are courses, which offer training covering administration, estimating, printing and print finishing.
Print finishing is the part of the industry, which covers everything that can be done to produce a finished product after the ink has actually been put on to the paper. There are many firms that specialise solely in print finishing and offer specific training in print finishing jobs.
So print finishing may include laminating, mounting, image transfer, trimming, coating, creating point of sale display models, or, for instance a ten-foot high cardboard “Shrek” to display in the auditorium of the local cinema.
And printing doesn’t just involve putting ink on paper. Print goes on to aluminium cans, bottle tops, plastic bags, lipstick holders, cardboard, timber, and sheet metal – the list is endless. In fact, if you can think of it, it is pretty safe to say that someone somewhere has printed on it.
So to conclude, it is safe to say that if you are considering a career in the printing industry you will have a job for life. Not only that, but it is a job which can pay extremely well.