By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing
This is the time of year in Europe when students in their final year of school get their grades and have to make decisions about whether to go to university, and if so, what course to study. For many these days, it is a very expensive investment. Some are choosing to look for other routes to employment, by-passing universities and getting internships or apprenticeships with large companies instead.
The printing industry has had a poor record in recent years in attracting young people. It has been seen by students as a largely old fashioned, dirty and boring place to be employed. But gradually the perception is changing through the hard work of organisations like PrintIt in the UK : http://www.printit.org.uk. Through the courses they run in schools, they are introducing secondary school students to our rapidly changing business. These courses give students an opportunity to participate in a charity project, designing promotional materials for Fairtrade products and winning prizes for themselves and their schools along the way.
Nevertheless, the complaint I hear regularly from customers I visit as part of the Landa Digital Printing Preferred Customer programme, is about the lack of suitable new recruits into the industry. Perhaps the industry still has the image problem. Or the schools are not teaching the skills that employers are looking for. Or there are too many other more attractive options open to candidates. But whatever the reason, the fact remains printers need a regular injection of talented new recruits if they are going to stay ahead of the game.
I realised when I was in Israel recently, that if you wanted to attract young people to the printing industry, you could do a lot worse than show them Landa Digital Printing. The technology that Landa will be introducing next year is as far away from dirty and boring as it is possible to be.
For a start, Nanography® is based on the cutting edge science of nano-technology to create the NanoInk® used on the presses. These will be the most modern in terms of the use of GUI interfaces and user involvement in a manufacturing process. Maintenance procedures using augmented reality to guide the operator will be a normal part of the operation – and this is just the start.
Talking to the technical teams at Landa, it is clear that Nanographic Printing® technology will be a revolutionary as Indigo’s was in 1993. The competition to be a Landa Nanographic Press operator is likely to be intense and the training provided by Landa and the employers will be highly sought after by people eager to gain access to the news skills.
So let’s not allow the perception of print to be old fashioned, boring and dirty. Thanks to Benny Landa there are going to be some very exciting opportunities created in future. So exciting is the outlook, that I, for one, wish that I was back at the start of my career in the printing industry.