Parkside urges apprenticeship support to safeguard future of industry

Parkside urges apprenticeship support to safeguard future of industry

Flexible packaging leader Parkside Flexibles (‘Parkside’) has urged others in the industry to embrace apprenticeships as a path to securing a long-term future for the packaging sector.

Following the UK’s National Apprenticeship Week, Parkside HR Manager Louise Robinson said the company believes that supporting and developing young packaging experts is vital to address the significant workforce challenges faced by the print and packaging category, which includes legacy knowledge ageing out of the industry and fewer individuals beginning long-term careers in the industry.

Parkside’s own active and engaged apprenticeship programme has demonstrated how hands-on education initiatives hold the key to future talent attraction and retention,” said Louise. “This approach will help to keep the sector talent pool thriving as legacy knowledge ages out of the printing and packaging industries, ushering in the future of innovative packaging design.

“One of the biggest challenges for print and packaging businesses today is creating a strong pipeline of fresh talent into the industry,” added Louise. “Apprenticeships are one way of tackling this challenge, and we’re very proud of our programme at Parkside. In fact, many of our apprentices completed their learning and progressed directly to full-time roles in the business – and are still key members of our team today. As well as bringing new skills to the business, we also benefit from introducing fresh perspective, insight and ideas when taking on apprentices, which in turn helps our customers.

“It’s vital that we show the next generation of engineers, designers and operatives that the printing industry is one of the most dynamic, technically challenging and exciting career paths.

“National Apprenticeship Week is always a great time to put the spotlight on the power of apprenticeships,” added Louise. “For Parkside, it’s also a fantastic way to share our apprentice success stories and show that the future of print and packaging is in safe hands!”

Parkside also invited three of its former apprentices, now developing in permanent full-time roles at the business, to share their stories.


Joel Tonks, Printer

“When I first left school at 16 years old, I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career, as I’m sure is the case for many. Joining Parkside as an apprentice, I’ve now been with the business for just over five years.

“After I passed my exams and finished my final year of the apprenticeship, I started the Parkside in-house training where I would put what I had learned to use – it’s a fantastic way to get hands-on experience. The apprenticeship was a great choice and it’s definitely something I’d recommend because many don’t consider a career in the printing industry!”


Max Miller, Maintenance Engineer

“I have worked at Parkside for eight years since completing my engineering apprenticeship with them. I trained with engineers that had worked in different industries, meaning over time I would pick up valuable knowledge which has led to the skillset I have today. The key thing for me when deciding to do an apprenticeship was the fact I was able to start a career path at a young age – as well as being paid to learn rather than the university path where you pay to be taught!

“The apprenticeship scheme allowed me to gain my qualification in Electronic/Electrical engineering as well as a Level 3 NVQ. I am now going on to do my HNC through Parkside, which will strengthen my abilities and also enables me to progress further in my career, potentially managing an engineering department at some point in the future.”


Tom Lynch, Shift Manager

“My printing apprenticeship with Parkside was an amazing experience from start to finish. The support was fantastic from company directors to the team I was working alongside on the machines. I am now working as a Shift Manager, directly responsible for all print, lamination, laser/punch and slitting.

“I am still learning every day, even 12 years on. I face new and interesting challenges as the market and technology evolve, but as a team we always overcome these.”

Parkside is regarded as a market leader in innovative, high-performance flexible packaging solutions. To learn more, visit

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