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Professional Experts

Speaking Of ...

By Industry Pros

About Industry Pros

Speaking Of... is a forum for industry professionals in all aspects of the package printing community to speak up on current topics of interest.

Talking Shop

Tom Polischuk
Forestry Management
Oct 15, 2010

The September 25 issue of The Economist included a special report on the world's forests, titled “The world’s lungs—Forests, and...


Kevin Karstedt
Where is Digital headed for Folding Cartons?
Nov 19, 2013

There have been some notable developments in the digital production landscape for folding cartons, but overall the landscape has not...

Packaging Design Essentials

Landor Associates
Sustainable Design?
Oct 28, 2013

Designers can’t provide practical contributions to minimize the use of natural resources. Can we?...

Building Brands for Packaging

Tom Marin
There’s Always Room for Great Design
Feb 4, 2011

At a time when there’s so much to read, listen to, click through and watch, we need to try to...

Finding Skilled Workers

I just read your notes [Editor’s Notes, January 2013, p. 6] in the most recent Package Printing magazine. I have similar issues as most managers in our industry—finding highly skilled workers has become increasingly difficult.

I have found that companies that will invest the time and money into an apprenticeship type program, to be very rare. Europe, as you know, has apprenticeship’s in almost every skilled area of the workforce. It works well in Europe for many reasons, and job opportunities are limited for those not going on to college. So the offer of an apprenticeship with its longer term benefits is huge to many kids and their families.

In the States, almost everyone with some help can get into college. Once graduated, we have taught our kids to expect much more than a low paying apprenticeship.

I, myself, served in our industry, a five year, very low paid apprenticeship in England, which has worked out well for me. During my apprenticeship I was sent through the London College of Printing on a block release program. I don’t know if a similar college course or curriculum is offered in this country.

In the U.S., it is my belief that this issue will not be resolved by individual companies; it will take the industry as a whole to solve it. People will not take years to train skilled workers, only to have them poached by others. Also people move around much more in the States than they do in Europe.

I am very pleased to see you broach this subject, as I feel it is one that our industry will have to attempt to solve—soon.

Chris Lengthorn
Director of Operations
Clondalkin Pharma & Healthcare


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