Winners of Closing the Skills Gap Award 2022

In November Bakers was delighted to be awarded ‘Closing the Skills Gap’ trophy which recognised their dedication to staff development and recruitment. This was a new category for the 2022 Digital Printer Awards and sponsored by BPIF Training.

The awards evening took place in Mayfair, London and was attended by print companies from all over the UK. Steve Baker (Managing Director), Tom Baker (Finance & Development) and Isabel Ward (Marketing Assistant) were there to represent Bakers and accept the award on stage.

This new category was created as a opportunity for printers to share the progress they have been able to achieve within their staff’s development. ‘This new award seeks to recognise companies that have demonstrated consistent/sustained excellence in recruitment and staff development, progression and retention through apprenticeships, on-the-job or other training or through other policies/processes in any capacity within the organisation.’

This seemed like the perfect award for Bakers to enter as in recent years we have placed an increased focus on staff training and development. Along with external and vertical training we also have Bakers Academy. Since its launch in late 2020, over half of Bakers staff have now completed the foundation course.

In 2022 alone we completed 696 hours of Ad-hoc (on the job) training, 370 Evaluations of staff abilities and 216 hours of Academy sessions.

Academy graduates
Academy session
“The time and effort are clearly visible in all that the winner is doing to introduce a new generation of young people into our industry. They should be rightly pleased to win this award.”
The Judges said

Company Growth

On top of strengthening our workforce through internal and external training we also recognise that in order to keep an ‘aging industry’ fresh we must recruit new talent. In fact, 38.45% of our staff are under 35 which is much higher than the print industry average (26%).

In the past year we made this a focus by engaging with young people to encourage them into print. This included visits to schools and talking with school leavers. We also held our first apprenticeship open day. There is already plans in place to continue the outreach to young people in the local area during 2023.

The growth that the company has undergone is evident when you look at our staff’s length of employment. Although we have many longstanding members of staff that have been with us for 25+ years, 55% of our staff joined the company less than 5 years ago. In just 11 years the amount of people at Bakers has grown from 46 to 112.

Many thanks to the Digital Printer Awards and BPIF for chosing us as the winners to this category. We place a high importance on our staff development, so to win this category is extremely rewarding.