Print and Printed Packaging (England)

Framework status: Current (latest) issue

Framework details

Framework ID: FR02271
Issue number: 11
Issued: 24 June 2013

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Print and Printed Packaging (England)
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Issued by

Contact name: Lisa Williamson
Telephone number: 01235 833844
Please download the framework for email contact information.


National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) – Statement on Apprenticeship Quality

  1. An Apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience, along with functional and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context. This broader mix differentiates the Apprenticeship experience from training delivered to meet narrowly focused job needs
  2. On completion of the Apprenticeship the apprentice must be able to undertake the full range of duties, in the range of circumstances appropriate to the job, confidently and competently to the standard set by the industry.

The UK Printing industry is a vibrant and essential part of the UK economy, serving all parts of the business and consumer markets such as central and local government, financial services, retailing, distribution, travel and tourism and the manufacturing industry. The industry produces a wide and varied spectrum of products ranging from the obvious – newspapers, books and magazines, to the less obvious – money, passports, signage and printed packaging. The diversity of its products and fragmented nature of its markets is reflected in the structure of this industry.

The Printing industry is among the country's largest manufacturing sectors. The Printing industry comprises just over 27,000 UK workplaces, employing around 162,000 employees. Over 95% of the industry employs fewer than 50 employees and around 85% employing less than 10. More than 90% of the total workforce is based in England.

The Printing industry has a long history of Apprenticeships and the frameworks have developed over time to cater for the rapid changes in both products and technology. The industry continues to be very fast moving and increasingly relies on new, cutting edge technologies. In such an environment it is essential to have new people entering the industry who have a good understanding of current computer based technologies. It is equally important to upskill those already in the industry so that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to respond, and adapt, to the changes in consumer demands, competition and advances in technical processes.

The Printing industry is changing, with greater emphasis now put on embellishing the manufacturing process with added-value services such as design and multimedia. Companies that can adapt to these requirements are likely to be more successful in the future. The industry continues to pursue improved process controls and efficiencies to boost productivity across the range of manufacturing activities and services and continnues to adopt new technologies to help achieve this.

Proskills works with employers from the Printing Industry to help businesses improve their productivity and competitiveness through skills training. Extensive research and comprehensive employer consultation has identified a need to upskill current and future workforces to enable businesses in the Print industry to address the challenges they currently face. The current economic climate means that there is an increasing need for workforces to be multi-skilled.

Skills training is required to help Printing businesses address the following:

  • To meet skills shortages - particularly prevalent among front line staff, technical staff as well at managerial and supervisory level.
  • The need to meet constantly changing consumer demands and preferences.
  • To support legislation compliance on Health and Safety as well as Environmental Management.
  • To improve efficiencies by tightening up processes to tackle the issue of rising energy costs and the need for more energy-efficient machinery and processes.
  • To drive business performance improvements to increase national and global competitiveness.
  • To keep up with technological advances.
  • To improve current low capacity utilisation which in turn means declining profitability, driven primarily by the acquisition of new technologies without adequate adaptation of business planning to accomodate their higher capacities.

This Apprenticeship framework provides a structure that will ensure that training and assessment is carried out systematically and will help meet the current and future needs of the Printing industry. Essentially, this is a sound knowledge and understanding of the complexities of the manufacturing processes, underpinned by the relevant skills and principles.

The competency outcomes described at both Level 2 and 3 will give Apprentices a range of pertinent skills, whilst the underpinning knowledge will ensure that Apprentices understand basic and complex Printing industry principles and processes. The mix of competencies and job knowledge will engender the notion of best practice, health and safety and innovation.

The Apprenticeship framework for Printing and Printed Packaging is designed with a changing and more competitive world in mind – it is about providing the best possible preparation for achieving skilled occupational status, for both young and older workers, within an industry that is ever changing and increasingly demanding.

For more information about the Printing Industry, please visit

This report outlines information on careers available, new emerging jobs, transferability of skills career paths and opportunities for progression. There is information on pay scales, how to enter the industry and what qualifications are available. The report also shows trends in the industry, where there are current skills gaps and the future of the industry in terms of its green agenda and future job requirements.

Download framework

Print and Printed Packaging (England)
(PDF document 7.77 MB)