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The Lost Generation – Attracting Young Talent Amid the Pandemic

Dorinda Gibbons, Director of Profile Recruitment has written this article for the FuturePrint website


Take a moment to think of all the plans that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into turmoil.

Goodbye to that holiday you had planned, to the trade show you’ve been prepping for all those months, to family trips, meals out, face-to-face meetings with clients. It has taken so much from us, from the personal to the professional, from the trivial to the essential.

Now imagine that on top of everything else, it’s a pivotal time in planning for your future career, and the crucial first steps in your professional life have been completely overturned. That’s what students and recent graduates are currently going through, making an often uncertain and complex time even more unpredictable. Young people are heading out into one of the most turbulent job markets in recent times, with fewer opportunities and lower-paid starter jobs – graduate jobs site Milkround states that just 18% of graduates are securing jobs this year, compared to the usual 60%. Current students are missing out on so many parts of the university experience such as building essential workplace skills through part-time jobs and summer internships. So what can our industry do to help? I’ve put together some points for print companies to consider when thinking about how to do your bit to drive the future for print.

Why Now?

There is so much for businesses in print to consider as we continue to navigate the effects of the pandemic – as many struggle to stay afloat and worry about making it out the other side intact, no one would blame you for putting recruitment straight to the bottom of the priority list.

However, I would argue that there is no better time to be thinking strategically about the future of your business. We need sharp, enthusiastic and talented young people to ensure its continued success. Careers in inkjet, although varied, fast-paced and stimulating, aren’t often at the top of the list and unfortunately, the best and brightest talent often stumbles upon the industry by chance. We have to go to them and show them that there is an exciting world of opportunities at their feet with inkjet.

What are the Options?

There are plenty of opportunities to throw open digital inkjet’s doors to a whole generation of young people.

Creating a desirable graduate package will put you straight at the top of the list for young talent, and you have a fantastic chance to offer graduates a taste of the industry by trying out different roles and getting a feel for different areas within your organisation, while simultaneously attracting savvy starters that your competitors don’t have access to. Look into whether apprenticeships, internships and training courses might be good fits for your business – there are lots of resources available, why not start by taking a look at the information from the BPIF?

Where do we Start?

Get the message out there!

How will young people find out their future could be in digital inkjet if they don’t know about the range of exciting roles available?

Go where the potential candidates are – make sure your LinkedIn presence makes it clear you are interested in helping students and graduates get on the career ladder. Look into job fairs, including virtual ones in the current climate. Turn to a skilled recruitment partner with experience and expertise in your field – Profile Recruitment has a proven track record in finding the best technical and commercial personnel for businesses in the inkjet print and packaging sectors and is passionate about matching talented young professionals with forward-thinking print companies. We also have strong relationships with students and educational institutions and can serve as a valuable connection between you and the future of your organisation.

For more information on how we can help email [email protected]

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