Jacky Sidebottom-Every, joint managing director at Glossop Cartons, explores what a career in the print and packaging industry has to offer.
The print and packaging industry is an extremely diverse area to work in. It’s at the heart of technological advancements in manufacturing and logistics, and in our case, is leading the charge for sustainability in product packaging. What’s more, it offers a broad range of roles for individuals interested in building a technical, administrative or creative career.
However, the industry we’re in presents some obstacles for both employers and those at the start of their careers.
The industry has an ageing workforce, and in addition, it isn’t good at promoting the opportunities it offers. For example, in continental Europe, there is a defined career pathway and recognised packaging qualifications at all levels. Consequently, the print and packaging industry is considered an attractive and professional career choice. In the UK by contrast, there’s no standardised career pathway, which means people tend to end up in the print industry rather than make a conscious decision to work in it.
In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted further challenges. Since the pandemic began, some members of staff haven’t been able to work either due to illness or because they were shielding. Unlike areas of the economy where employees can work from home, manufacturing businesses like ours need the majority of employees to be physically present for the business to function. Despite high levels of unemployment, pockets of UK manufacturing continue to face challenges when recruiting the talent they need to develop and grow.
What we’re doing at Glossop Cartons
As a sector, we believe strongly in us all working together to improve awareness about how dynamic and rewarding a career in the print and packaging industry can be.
To make the recruitment process more successful for ourselves and applicants, we’ve recently made some changes to our approach:
– We work closely with the local employment centre. They show interested applicants a presentation we’ve prepared – which includes video clips of the shop floor – so they can see the working environment
– We familiarise potential employees with our systems and equipment at interview stage by taking them on guided factory tours (while maintaining social distance and adhering to COVID-safe guidelines)
– We meet applicants face-to-face to help them see if they’ll be a good fit for the team
– We promote print and packaging as a career choice to both men and women. Traditionally, it has been a male-dominated environment, but there’s no reason why this should be the case
– We encourage younger people to choose print and packaging as their career path, as they bring with them fresh ideas, knowledge and creativity
– Our educational partnerships help support the local community by getting involved with schools and colleges to help ensure young people know about the opportunities available in our industry when they leave school
– We are on the board of the British Printing Industries Federation which has a number of great training and development initiatives, including apprenticeships and schools initiatives designed to promote careers in the sector. (For more details on this go to https://www.britishprint.com/training-development/apprenticeships/).
Are you interested in a career in printing and packaging?
At Glossop Cartons we’re passionate about what we do and we look for people we think could share in that. Here are some characteristics we always look for:
– An inquisitive mind; you should have an interest in machines and mechanics – the kind of person who might take their bike apart and be able to build it back again!
– A good basic level of English and Maths
– A strong work ethic and a desire to progress
– The ability to work as part of a team
– Prepared to work hard, learn from others and take responsibility for your development
If that sounds like you and you live in the Stockport area, or you know anyone who might fit the bill, please email a covering letter and your current CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.