A printer has created an in-house training centre after experiencing a “dearth” of recruits with flexo label skills.
Label Apeel will put new apprentices and existing staff through their paces at its new L-School Print Academy at its base in Thurmaston, Leicestershire. The company recently recruited two apprentices and wants to take on two more trainee printers. Their first year with the company will be spent rotating around the business, working in a range of capacities including on accounts, in the press hall and in warehousing.
Once the induction year is over, they will choose a specialism and be registered as an apprentice with Leicester College, although the onus will be on workplace training. After three years honing skills staff have the opportunity to move into supervisory roles, sales, planning or production management.
Managing director Amy Chambers said: “Finding good people is not easy. We have therefore taken the decision that from here on in we will, in the main, be training our own people. There aren’t enough skilled flexo label printers our there – there’s a dearth. “We will be looking for staff from a range of different backgrounds that may not have the right skills, but do have the right attitude.
“That attitude is one that reflects the quality we strive for and achieve on a daily basis. We need people who recognise that processes and procedures are essential. We take our responsibility on training seriously and also recognise that many college courses have either shut up shop or don’t train people in our area of specialism. Many courses take the standard commercial sheetfed printing route but packaging is an important part of the industry and there’s not much flexo, gravure or general packaging training. So the academy will focus on those areas and give a clear route that everybody goes through. Training will take place at the press and in the classroom. It will be theoretical and practical.”
The 44-staff company has a £4.2m turnover and kit includes an HP Indigo WS6800, Digicon Series 2 and series 3 machines, the latter with foiling and embossing, and two MPS flexo presses.
Would-be recruits needed a minimum of GCSE English and maths grade C or above and preferably a design GCSE. A Level, AS Level or BTEC Dip qualifications are also welcome.
Label Apeel will be attending Leicester College’s apprenticeship careers fair on 19 August at the Freemen’s Park campus