Print Your Future (2021)

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About the Print Your Future project

Print Your Future is an EU-funded project about attracting a new skilled workforce to the European graphic industry. The project focuses primarily on four countries (Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal) and runs from February 2020 until January 2022.

The European printing industry is creative and high-tech, offering digitally integrated products and services, and playing an important role in Europe’s circular economy. As a traditional sector that has transformed in the digital age, a career in print can offer many opportunities to people with a wide variety of skills and preferences. But partially due to undergoing such rapid transformation, the sector is facing skills shortages and mismatches that are limiting its competitiveness and growth. On the one hand, traditional skills to work at the machines are lacking due either to an absence of courses on offer, or a lack of applicants to existing courses. On the other hand, digital skills and training needed for the new technologies used in our industry exist in abundance in younger generations, but they do not choose to work in our sector due in part to an image problem.

These are some of the issues which the Print Your Future project will help to address. Our project objectives will be realised within four Work Packages:

  1. Diagnosis (recruitment and employment of young workers – problems, solutions, best practices and strategy)
  2. Capacity building and implementation
  3. Promotion, dissemination and communications tools
  4. Final conference

Concrete outcomes of the project will include:

  • Best practice toolkit: addressing how to promote a career in the printing industry to young people, parents, schoolteachers, career advisers, etc., including sections on the best ways to find, attract and keep new talent.
  • Communications materials: to include a website (list of print-related schools/courses across Europe, promo videos, photos, interviews with young people in print, etc.); information packs on different job profiles and more.

There are already a lot of projects and initiatives on this topic for our sector – some very successful, others less so. Because of this, Print Your Future is not aiming to start from scratch or create something totally new. The project will collect information about the best existing initiatives, approaches and insights on the topics of recruitment and employment in order to give practical guidance that can be replicated across Europe.

Print Your Future is coordinated by Intergraf alongside UNI Europa Graphical – together we are the European Social Partners for the graphical sector. The project is supported by country experts from Estonia (AEPPI), Germany (HdM Stuttgart), the Netherlands (GOC), and Portugal (APIGRAF). It is funded by the European Commission under Social Dialogue (VP/2019/001/0061).


Contact: Alison Grace