This past Thursday, The Duke of York spoke at the 186th annual luncheon of the Printing Charity.
Speaking to the gathering, Prince Andrew discussed education, enhancing a skill set and the significance of small and medium enterprises to keeping the economy growing.
Imploring printers to realise how vital apprenticeships are in building businesses, he also touched upon entering the arena of exporting.
“I have concentrated to some extent on skills and apprenticeships and trying to encourage young people to recognise that going to university at 18 isn’t necessarily the answer to the question,” Andrew mentioned in his address to the crowd via PrintWeek online.
“Many businesses look at apprenticeships as a financial risk. How many times have you written ‘three years experience required’? If I could rub that one sentence out we’d be in a much healthier place. You need to put at the bottom: ‘willing to learn.’ In many cases that’s all you need to say. People will look at that and think this is a business I want to be a part of,” he concluded.
More than 181 guests attended the luncheon.
Jon Wright, Chairman of The Printing Charity discussed the importance of reaching more individuals through the charitable cause. “Last year was a fantastic year for the charity. But we do know a lot of people out there need our help. This is about asking you to help us find those people. It’s important to broadcast that we help people of all ages whether individuals or families,” Wright said.
The goal is by 2017 to have assisted 2,000 individuals.
Known as the “second oldest trade charity in the country,” The Printing Charity began in the 19th Century in London and was known as the Printers’ Pension Society. Printers Charles and George Seares along with John King, their employer, began the group to “provide relief to aged, infirm and distressed printers and their widows,” according to the Printing Society website.
Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter in 1865 after the merging of the Almshouse, Orphans Asylum with the charity. It was then named the Printers’ Pension Almshouse and Orphans Asylum Corporation.
Undergoing another name change in 1972, the charity was then titled the Printers’ Charitable Corporation. The current name, The Printing Charity was conceived in 2010.
The charity has had some rather distinguished and esteemed presidents including: Charles Dickens and 19th Century Prime Ministers Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone.
The Duke of Edinburgh was president in 1963 and The Prince of Wales also held the presidency in 1977.
Her Majesty is the Patron of the Printing Charity.