Print Your Future (2021)

The Print Your Future project is about attracting a new skilled workforce for quality jobs to the European graphic industry. Complete our survey to support our project and the next generation of printers.


About the project

Print Your Future is a 24-month project funded under Social Dialogue (VP/2019/001/0061) about future skills and recruitment in the printing industry, running from February 2020 until January 2022. The project focuses primarily on 4 countries: Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal.

The printing industry in Europe is facing skills shortages and mismatches which are limiting its competitiveness and growth. The increasing use of digital, high-tech machines and processes, as well as changing business models, requires a change in skills for both existing and new employees. Demographic factors also present challenges for our industry, which has a relatively old and ageing workforce, endangering the transfer and retention of existing skills.

Because of this, it can be difficult to attract new and younger employees to the sector because it is mistakenly seen as old-fashioned and low-tech. 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, digital skills and training needed for the new technologies used in our industry (IT skills, web design, graphic design, databases…), exist in the younger generation, but they do not choose to work in our sector due in part to its image problem.

The European printing industry faces a double challenge: to attract a new generation to the sector, and to ensure appropriate VET studies are taken up in order for these new recruits to acquire the very necessary technical skills in a continuously changing technological and digital environment. It is within this context that the European Social Partners for the graphical sector, Intergraf and UNI Europa Graphical, have set three specific objectives to achieve in a project: (1) diagnosis, (2) capacity building & implementation, and (3) a communication campaign.

Project work is organised into 4 Work Packages:

  • Work Package 1, DIAGNOSIS: RECRUITMENT & EMPLOYMENT OF YOUNG WORKERS: PROBLEMS, SOLUTIONS, BEST PRACTICES & STRATEGY: The primary outcome of this activity will be a strategic report based on an off-site survey and discussions between stakeholders, highlighting the possible and most effective actions implemented by the sector to attract new workers – paying particular attention to the process of recruitment of young people, and the factors which influence the employment conditions of young people in the printing industry. Conclusions will be drawn on the main problems, solutions and best practices and presented at the high level workshop in this WP.
  • Work Package 2, CAPACITY BUILDING & IMPLEMENTATION: This activity will focus on creating a common framework for the implementation of actions that can promote the recruitment and employment of young people. Best practices identified in the previous WP will be analysed in depth and/or implemented in pilot activities on the territories of the 4 target countries (Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal). Information collected in this WP will be presented in a ‘Toolkit for the inclusion and retention of young workers in the printing industry’.
  • Work Package 3, PROMOTION, DISSEMINATION & COMMUNICATION TOOLS: Several structured activities are foreseen to ensure the adequate communication of this project. They include the creation of a new sectoral identity, which will include collecting pictures which describe the work done in offices and factories, interviews with young workers in at least 4 countries, a collection of information packages on job profiles, and documentation of concrete experiences of young workers. This will all be communicated in promotional photos and videos, on a dedicated website, and in a communications campaign including social media. There will also be 4x ‘Young Workers Day’ events to promote the exchange of information.
  • Work Package 4, FINAL CONFERENCE: The final conference will be the main public event of the project, held in June 2021. A final report will also be developed for the project.


Contact: Alison Grace