Dalkeith Apprentice wins award

Print Apprentice Liam Thomson

Print Apprenticeship awards; Apprentice Liam Thomson and President Susan Graham


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

The ninth annual Scottish Print Apprentice of the Year awards which recognises the achievements of print apprentices and their potential to secure the future health and prosperity of the printing industry in Scotland, heard a spirited appeal from its President for more young people to consider the attractions of an apprenticeship in the print industry.

At a ceremony held in Glasgow last week Susan Graham, President of Print Scotland, the trade association and voice of Scotland’s graphic communication industry, said:

“Today we celebrate the success of our young print industry colleagues, all of whom, I am certain, have an outstanding future ahead of them, because the print industry, the sixth largest sector in the economy, has never gone away and continues to thrive.

“Print is still here, present in all our lives. It is a renewable resource, it is tactile and people, across the globe, continue to use it every day, not just to inform and entertain themselves, but also to organise their lives. We need to grow our own to control our own success.

“So as well as congratulating today’s award-winners, my message to the young people of Scotland is that a career in the print industry continues to be rewarding, satisfying and important to the health and strength of our economy and one that I urge them to consider.

“I also want to thank all the employers who take on our modern apprentices and the production teams and managers who take them under their wing to teach while hitting their own targets.

“A big thank you also to Training Officer Jim McKenzie. He has modernised the whole process. With enormous passion and commitment, and has overseen a flexible training model which works for everyone. His industry knowledge is second to none.

“Finally, and far from least we would like to thank our sponsors: Antalis, Muller Martini, CCL Design and EBB who have made this Award ceremony the success it has been.”

Four awards were made to outstanding apprentices, in addition to an innovative new category, “Mentor of The Year” which recognises the vital role experienced print industry professionals can play in bringing apprentices to fulfil their potential.

As well as raising the profile of future leaders of the print sector, the awards ceremony highlighted the way in which it is increasingly being seen as a rewarding and socially worthwhile career option among younger people.

Garry Richmond, Director of Print Scotland, said:
“Refreshing and enhancing our talent bank of printing expertise is vital as an increasing cohort of highly experienced print professionals reach retirement age.

“With this new stream of print apprentices present today, whose ability, aptitude and potential we recognise in the distribution of these awards, we can be cautiously optimistic about the future of our industry.

“The print sector has significantly enhanced its support for apprentices in recent years and is definitely seeing the benefit of this forward-looking approach for employers and individuals.

“We urge the Scottish Government and its agencies to reinforce our success by continuing to invest significantly to allow us to create more opportunities for our young people.”

The winners of the 2023 Apprentice of the Year Awards were:

Pre-Press Apprentice of the Year
– Jack Campbell, Deacon Brothers, Kirkintilloch

Press Apprentice of the Year
– Adam Dobbie, Newsprinters UK, Eurocentral

Post-Press Apprentice of the Year
– Jack Clark, Bell and Bain, Glasgow

Mentor of the Year
– Gordon Sally, Bell & Bain, Glasgow

Overall Apprentice of the Year
– Liam Thomson, FLB, Dalkeith, Midlothian

Dalkeith born and bred Liam, who attended the town’s High School, has worked at FLB for two years, and greatly enjoys his job. He has just two modules to complete before he becomes a fully qualified printer.

He said: “I was lucky enough to have a neighbour who worked at FLB and recommended I apply for an apprenticeship.”

Training officer, Jim McKenzie, said:

“Liam started out quietly but has gone on to do really well.What makes Liam stand out is that he’s taken all his learnings on board very quickly and his manager, Tony McGuire, says he is an integral member of the production team and one of the strongest apprentices FLB has had.”

Print Scotland provides training for Modern Apprentices through the Scottish Training Scheme, which provides a grant from the Scottish Government to cover the cost of the training. It also provides a range of Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) as well as Modern Apprenticeship (MA) certification.

Great start for re-opened Lothians Fishery

Manager Derek Plenderleith. FisheryJPG

Manager Derek Plenderleith. Picture by Nigel Duncan


Written by, Nigel Duncan

Newlands Tweeddale Trout Fishery near Gifford has enjoyed a really encouraging start since it re-opened in mid-May.

Several hundred anglers have visited and reports have been excellent with bags over 50 recorded with many of over 20.

Fishermen have come from as far afield as Morpeth in Northumberland and also from all over the Lothians and Borders, with many from Edinburgh and nearby Midlothian.

And delighted manager, Derek Plenderleith, said he had received compliments about the condition of the fish and the surroundings.

Currently, two fly only ponds are open and the bait pond remains closed but Plenderleith said: “A number of anglers who fished the water prior to the seven-month closure have come back to have a cast or to see what we have done after reading or hearing about us in the papers and on local radio.

“We are delighted with the response and, currently, we are open seven days from 9am to 9pm.”

Plenderleith added: “Anglers are pleased with the quality of the fish and the state of the fishery in general, but we are continuing to develop the facility.”

One advance is that flies are now on sale in the registration area but, as yet, there is no tackle available to buy on-site.

The manager stressed: “This is a fly only facility and we have publicised that extensively, but we still get people coming up asking if we have bait an if our bait pond is open. We don’t have bait and the bait pond is not open.”

Patterns currently working at the water, formerly called Tweeddale Millennium, are buzzers, cats whisker, humongous, spiders and diawl bach and Plenderleith advised prospective anglers to consult the fishery Facebook page, which is regularly updated, for full details and to check the weather before travelling.

He added: “Please do not message for bookings as these can be missed. Our numbers are 01620 810526 or 07748 485647 and I am more than happy to provide all the information you need to fish here.”

Scottish Businesses to benefit from global expert insight on tackling Modern Slavery

Shan Saba

Organiser Shan Saba from Scotland Against Modern Slavery



Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Scotland Against Modern Slavery (SAMS), which focuses on the elimination of modern slavery and human trafficking has announced an accelerator series of webinars designed to help Scottish businesses tackle the issue in their supply chains.

Businesses in Scotland have supply chains, and often operations, which span the globe.The International Labour Organisation believes that 63% of forced labour happens in the private economy, which accounts for 16million of the 28million men, women, and children in forced labour.

In Scotland alone, 765 referrals were made to Police Scotland as potential victims of human trafficking last year – the highest number since records began. This is up from 600 in 2022.

Human rights and supply chain expert, Elaine Mitchel-Hill, has engaged with SAMS to develop and deliver a Human Rights in Supply Chain Accelerator Series on a pro-bono basis.

She said: “The introduction of the UK Modern Slavery Act in 2016 has had limited impact on tackling human rights abuses by corporations, and there are moves to review and address these, including the recent Commercial and Public Authorities Duty (Human Rights and Environment) Bill put forward by Baroness Young of Hornsey.

“Global environmental and human rights due diligence legislation is moving apace, signalled most recently by the passing of the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.

“The truth is that many businesses still do not know where human rights risks lie. Nor do they know where to begin to find out where risks lie. Too many have their heads buried in a ‘compliance’ only approach.

“Still more are not significantly motivated by potential prosecutions and fines – although this is changing. This accelerator series is a great opportunity to engage with global experts to learn and to share.”

Shan Saba, director at Brightwork and a founder of SAMS, said: “The stats don’t lie and this issue is not going away so we hope as many people as possible sign up to the SAMS Human Rights in Supply Chain Accelerator Series to learn more and thereby improve the situation.

“Slavery is a global issue so listening to and learning from our international partners will be invaluable in our efforts to help ensure compliance, eliminate modern slavery, and support human rights.

“Since inception, SAMS has brought together the Scottish Government with over 56 businesses, charities, and NGOs, with the core aims of raising awareness of the problem, supporting survivors into positive employment opportunities and protecting vulnerable communities from exploitation.

“All areas of Scotland have reported cases of human trafficking – anyone can be susceptible, and it is happening in our towns, cities and rural communities, as well as in our global supply chains.”

To sign up to the SAMS Human Rights in Supply Chain Accelerator Series then register Here

The first session took place on May 29th but you can now sign up for the second session, regardless of whether or not you have attended the first one.