Last updateThu, 29 Feb 2024 4am

Blazing a trail at Packaging Innovations & Empack

The hunt is on for exciting new talent in the print and packaging industries

The packaging sector is bursting with talent and fresh ideas. For anyone who has previously attended Packaging Innovations & Empack, the UK’s annual event driving innovation across the industry, this is clear to see. Every year, delegates have the chance to see major names in the industry showcase the latest exciting developments driving packaging forward.

But more important than this is to recognise the trailblazing work being done by the up-and-comers in packaging who will be instrumental to securing the industry’s future.
Packaging is facing something of a skills shortage. Like other sectors, disruption from COVID and emerging technologies have led to an increased demand for new skills and talent. At the same time, changing consumer preferences around circularity and ecommerce, combined with regulatory pressures are creating demand for knowledge in this area.
As long-established employees leave the sector, the skills gap is only growing. For several reasons – from the lack of a standardised career entry path to outdated perceptions about the industry – young people are not entering the workforce at the same rate that skilled workers leave through retirement or other turnover.
Turning this around will rely on packaging businesses to collaborate and demonstrate just how exciting and rewarding a career in this industry can be. People need to see packaging as a career that values and appreciates them, and where they can make dynamic contributions that actively make a difference.
Packaging as a sector is already at the centre of the kind of developments that are driving growth across the manufacturing and logistics industries. From more sustainable materials to ground-breaking new products and technologies, the industry is a thriving hotbed of innovation. And by shouting out about the achievements of those young people who are trailblazing growth, we can secure a promising future for packaging.
That’s why at Packaging Innovations & Empack we’re delighted to announce that, following a successful inaugural event in 2023, our Future Trailazer awards are returning next year. In partnership with IOM3 Packaging Group and Mercury Search & Selection, this event celebrates the best and brightest young talent from across the industry to commend their work driving innovation and growth. It will shine a spotlight on promising individuals, promoting packaging as the dynamic career that it truly is.
Future Trailblazers considers the biggest contributions to change in the industry and the potential that individuals hold. With judges assessing across five categories – Design for the future, Production delivery, Sustainable thinking, Delivery management, and Making it happen – there are plenty of opportunities for success to be recognised.
The Future Trailblazer winners will be announced on February 15 at Packaging Innovations & Empack, held at Birmingham’s NEC. Packaging companies have until Wednesday 10 January to put forward a nomination for free by going to Future Trailblazers. The event promises to be a must-see for anyone wanting to get on top of the emerging trends and developments that will revolutionise the industry in the years to come.
Protecting packaging’s future relies on encouraging new talent by showing them what a career in packaging can be – highlighting the innovations and growth that people like them are responsible for. Now is the time to put a spotlight on people you know in the packaging industry who have made amazing achievements within the last year.



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