The 2019 Print Futures Awards are now open for submissions, with the Printing Charity aiming to boost the number of successful grant applicants into triple figures for the first time.
The awards scheme is open to UK residents aged 18-30 who currently work in or plan to work in the printing, paper, publishing, packaging and graphics arts sectors.
Successful applicants will secure a grant of up to £1,500 to fund training, equipment or other means with which to advance their chosen career. Applicants will need to submit a clear plan, including costings, of how the grant would help them develop their careers.
“We are mostly looking for people who have thought through how they want to use their funding, thought clearly about the costs and how it would make a difference to their career,” said Printing Charity chief executive Neil Lovell.
“Last year was a record year for us and the number of winners since our first run in 2004 has grown each time. If we get enough of the right kind of applicants, it would be great to hit 100 this year but it depends if those people come forward.
“Our winners have come from all across the board in this sector and there are plenty of case studies about how winners have gone on to do great things – a Facebook group where winners swap stories and advice has grown significantly this past year.”
A panel of judges from across the sector will interview shortlisted applicants in London in early June and the winners will be presented with their awards at an event also in London in July.
This year’s awards are sponsored by Saxoprint, the Book Trade Charity and Unite, with support from the BPIF, the Journalists’ Charity and St Bride Foundation.
“Our awards shine a light on what is possible in all the vibrant areas of the sector,” said Lovell. “The main aim is to encourage younger people to consider it as a potential place to develop their careers, and to demonstrate the amazing opportunities available.
“Print as a sector is historically SME-driven which means it is a hard task to replace someone who retires and takes a skill with them. Through the awards, we want to encourage people to take up apprenticeships and consider our sector to start their careers so we can retain those vital skills.”
Applications are open until midnight on 29 April.