Last updateWed, 17 Jul 2024 6pm

Labour shortages impact print industry

The print industry in Germany counts a total of 8,700 trainees. But the training and skilled labour situation is placing increased pressure on this sector with a workforce totalling 110,00 employees. Some 75% of the industry’s 7,000 companies state they are facing major challenges due to skilled labour shortages.[1] Nor can all apprenticeship posts be filled.

drupa – Meeting point for young talents and skilled labour
“The print industry has been impacted by (skilled) labour shortages for years,” say Heidelberger Druckmaschinen. According to a study recently published by this leading provider of sheet-offset printing presses, nearly one in two companies lack suitable skilled staff. At present, this is the biggest challenge – even ranking ahead of increased energy prices and bureaucratic burdens. For the study the company conducted a representative poll of the views of 700 firms. The Heidelberg-based company sees automation and digitalisation as solutions to the staff shortages in print shops. In this way jobs can be made more technical and more attractive for workers.[2] At drupa the company will present its technical and innovative solutions
However, skilled workers remain the be-all and end-all despite increasing automation and New Work concepts. Recruiting will therefore be a major topic at drupa, the leading international trade fair for print technologies, held in Düsseldorf from 28 May to 7 June 2024. The trade fair is an important meeting point for enterprises seeking to appeal to tomorrow’s employees and trainees.
The “drupa next age” special forum, for example, will be all about the industry’s genetic code – “drupa dna”. This forum is a port of call for start-ups and innovative young as well as long-established companies. Here, the Stuttgart Media University jointly with the International Circle of Educational Institutes for Graphic Media Technology and Management, provides a point of contact for alumni, students and trainees alike. Potential junior staff and students are thus given the opportunity to talk to the employers of the future and get to know draft concepts and best-practice cases.
Association initiatives in the field of education
Numerous initiatives promote careers in the print industry and support companies in raising greater awareness about professions and job profiles in the sector. The German federal associations organised in the BVDM (German Association Print and Media), for example, have initiated training videos that let trainees in the field of media technology, print, screen printing and print processing as well as Digital and Print media designers have a say. Here young people emphasise that their training not only comes with above-average remuneration but is also great fun and synonymous with a secure professional future.
Likewise, the Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (VDMA) launched the “Talentmaschine/Talent Machine” campaign in April, designed to get young people interested in technologies and careers in machinery and equipment building.
drupa will also see the Fachverband Medienproduktion (FMP) celebrate the premiere of its industry initiative WE.ARE.PRINT. This is a platform for the print and media industries based on partnership, networking and talent promotion.
Beyond this, the creative and innovative works by students and trainees will enjoy exposure at drupa in numerous special forums and projects. Commenting on this Sabine Geldermann, Project Director Print Technologies Messe Düsseldorf, says: “drupa offers print service providers and their upstream suppliers the unique opportunity to showcase the future of the industry, thereby selectively reaching out to skilled labour and young talent. I am convinced that more and more young people will be attracted by this innovative industry in future and will want to enter a profession in the print industry.”



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