It is a daunting task working with a huge, noisy machine which is the size of a football pitch, but the massive newspaper press which star printing apprentice Jay Findlater looks after now holds no terrors for him.
The 19-year-old from Wishaw in Lanarkshire has finished his third year at Newsprinters, whose Eurocentral plant houses two XXL Manroland Colourman presses. This combination makes it the largest newspaper printing press in the world, with the capacity to produce 172,000 colour copies of a 144-page tabloid every hour. Jay, who won a Press (Machine Printing) award, entered his apprenticeship straight from school via an open day held by East Kilbride Group Training Association, and is now into his improver’s year in his training to be a print technician. He said:
“I always wanted to earn while I learned – that is the great thing about an apprenticeship – and the variety of training has been vast. I have been exposed to every department – pre-press, plate making, preparing reels, post-press stacking and maintenance.”
I knew nothing about print before I started, but the process of producing a newspaper every night is amazing and people simply don’t appreciate the scale, the skills and the effort involved. My aim is to become a fully-fledged printer, running the presses, then move on to being a lead printer on the path to a management position in the future.”
Monica Martin, the senior operations manager at Eurocentral said that Jay was the first apprentice the UK firm had employed in Scotland for 16 years, and the experience has paved the way for two more positions this year. She said:
“Jay is keen, curious and is taking his learning seriously. He brings eagerness, a fresh approach, youth and energy to the company, which is very refreshing as lots of colleagues are much older, with the average age of printers being 55. The age profile highlights the need to look ahead, and apprentices help with the succession planning of the business. We have to have youth coming through. The apprentices are the future of the industry.”Newsprinters has a headcount of 80 and, while invested in the daily newspaper market, plans to be more collaborative with other printers.”
For more information visit: newsprinters.co.uk