Explore: Manufacturing

Northend Creative Print Solutions

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Nick D

0.00.00 My name is Nick. I work in Northend Fine Print at Sheffield. I’m 22 and I’m a Printer. In my job you’re basically creating something from nothing. You put a plate paper in at one end of the machine and you get a printer to print it out the other end of the machine. Also it’s from football programmes, magazines, brochures, posters, leaflets, anything really. A job might come in from a new customer or an existing customer like Sheffield United for instance, design, not coming to the design studio, from there it’ll go onto a different process and then

0.00.30 eventually it comes through to the printing process and we put the ink on the paper. My favourite job is probably printing the Sheffield United programme, being a Sheffield United fan.

0.39 I quite enjoyed school, yeah. I was one of the lads as always but it were alright. I quite enjoyed it. I just got my head down, got on with my work. You know it was like DT, PE, physical, sport and hands-on. I like that kind of thing. From a young age I really realised what I wanted to do cos my brother is a printer as well. So I had my heart set on it

0.01.00 cos I knew it was a good job, creative, hands-on and it’s just something that’s always interested me. My family’s been a big influence on my career. Dad worked at pre-press, similar printing industry but he wasn’t the printer. It was kind of family tradition, I don’t know how it will go from now on but the last few decades it has been a family tradition.

1.17 I’ve always looked up to my brother. He’s thirteen years older than me. My mum and dad got divorced so I’ve always been, looked at him as a father figure and just inspired me really sort of what I’m doing now, today. I was about 13 / 14 when mum and dad got divorced.

0.01.30 It did affect me mostly physical, thought it’s made me a lot better person emotionally. I’m a stronger person.

1.36 It all started printing as a work experience because of my brother. He knew somebody who worked here when he was at college so when he knew it was a good company to work for. So I applied for work experience and after I’d finished my work experience, when I left school I applied for an apprenticeship. The apprenticeship, it’s four years long. You go to college one day a week in the first year and it’s another day in the week the second year,

0.02.00 and then you’ve got, then an extra years to do your NVQ just at work, covering evidence of your portfolio. The apprenticeship was four years long. I did it after two and a half, luckily I got my head down and got on with it and enjoyed it, enjoyed being at college.

2.15 I’m still learning now. I’ve been in the trade six years and I’m still learning. We’ve just got a new machine for instance and I’m still learning that. So you’re constantly, constantly learning, getting experience. It’s all about experience, this trade, it’s not you can’t just come in and do it. It’s a skilled job.

2.30 I enjoy keeping fit, being active, sports, climbing, watching the football match whether it’s home or away, going out for a good few drinks with my mates, enjoying myself, clubbing, partying all weekend. And then back to work on a Monday.

2.44 I thought about going to university after I’ve joined printing to do colour management course, it’s part-time and five years long. I thought about that. I still am thinking about that but I’m not sure. I don’t think it’d open that many more doors to me because I’m in a trade which is quite difficult to get into but once you’re in, it’s a good career move

0.03.00 and it is a career. It’s prolonged, you can get as far as you want to go. I know you can go on and do quite a lot, like go high up in the printing industry, team leaders, managers, etc. And I look at it as a career. I always have done and I intend to do.

3.13 I’d liked to have tried a little bit harder at school I think. I think I’d still do this job and same at college. I nearly got nominated for the student of the year when I finished my apprenticeship early. I probably could have just tried to settle down a little bit harder but I’ve always enjoyed myself. I’ll always enjoy my social life so I think that’s just got in the way of it really.

0.03.30 I kind of have goals, yeah. I like to set myself, I want to be the best at what I’m doing. I’m not trying to belittle anybody by saying that. I just want to be good at my job.


Nick D is a Printer at Northend Creative Print Solutions in Sheffield. He always wanted to be a printer. His brother and his father were in the trade. His brother knew someone who worked at Northend and said it was a good company to work for, so Nick applied for work experience there and then applied for a job.

More information about Printers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

85%  male 
15%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Printers set up and operate various small offset printing presses and digital printing processes.
There are no formal academic requirements although some employers may require GCSEs/S grades. Training is typically received on-the-job. National Traineeships and apprenticeships in Machine Printing are available at NVQ/SVQ Levels 2 and 3.
  • Positions form or plate on machine, checks alignments and sets press;
  • Mixes and loads inks and solvents, loads paper and regulates during print run;
  • Prints and examines proof copies and adjusts press as necessary;
  • Starts or directs start of printing run and monitors machine to ensure that printing proceeds smoothly;
  • Pours colour into machine or directly on to screen and positions screen over item;
  • Operates squeegee by hand or machine to press colour through screen;
  • Dips wooden pattern block into colour tray and lays different colours on top of, and adjacent to, others to form the required pattern;
  • Produces, transfers and outputs digital print images;
  • Maintains, adjusts, repairs and cleans machine;
  • Keeps production records.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Printing & recording 8105
Paper, etc 4897
Publishing activities 3472
Office admin. 2142
Food & beverage services 2078
Employment status

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