Director, Print Scotland
What does the organisation do?
Print Scotland is a 40-member trade association
Where is it based?
Glasgow is the registered office, but the membership is Scotland-wide.
Subscription based, not for profit
Briefly outline your working day
Like most people these days the hours and tasks are varied. Although infrequent I’ll answer a member’s query after hours, weekends or on holidays if I pick them up. If I’m visiting a print company in Aberdeen or Dumfries I usually set off to be there for 9am. I am tasked with growing the membership and managing the benefits of membership, as well as running the training programme for apprentices. I often work from home to fulfil the paperwork surrounding the apprentice programme
What are the biggest challenges facing the organisation right now?
Growing our association and achieving a surplus has been our main challenge since the pandemic. It is not the best environment to persuade companies to part with their subscription even though we have a strong suite of benefits. Member companies have to contend with huge jumps in power and material costs. With most paper produced on the continent now, import costs have soared with the Brexit debacle and all the other factors affecting prices in the world. Wages are another key burden, but most accept they have to help their employees, it just adds to the cost of manufacturing.
What should be done to overcome these challenges?
We need stability in the economy and power security. If the government can cool the markets using fiscal policy and get inflation under control then GDP will recover fairly quickly. If these are not tackled then recession will set in.
Has the Scottish Government called it right on taxes?
More levels of taxation should be introduced with reductions in the tax under the £150k bracket.
Has Brexit impacted on your business?
Brexit has impacted on our members who have to export product to the EU. It has been a nightmare with all additional paperwork and requirements.
Do you support plans for a workplace parking levy?
No. I think these are flawed plans. Essential workers and any shift workers need to access their place of work at all hours without additional cost to the employer or them.
Do you use public transport?
I use a train when it makes no sense to take a car. Buses not so much.
Do you think this is the right time to call an independence referendum?
Back to stability again. The economy of the four countries has suffered several financial shock waves since 2016 . Brexit, Covid, the War in Ukraine and now recessionary markets as a result. I would like to see the economy and especially the Scottish GDP showing 5% growth before another referendum was considered.
What do you drive? Is it petrol or electric? If petrol, what would make you switch?
I will be changing to a hybrid car soon. In order for consumers to make the switch to full electric it has to make financial sense. The prices are currently too high and the infrastructure to avoid battery anxiety is not developed enough.
Do you favour a four-day working week?
It may have its place for some jobs but in a manufacturing industry we need processes to run efficiently and stops and starts can be wasteful. So whatever happens in the future consecutive days would be required.
What is your company doing to support the green agenda? Have you increased or decreased your commitment?
We have increased our commitment to the green agenda and have joined Business Energy Scotland and Zero Waste to promote and assist members on the transition required.
Are you a purpose-led company? If so, how?
We are purpose-led and this is encapsulated in our mission statement
What are your short and long term goals?
Short term is to consolidate Print Scotland’s position, and long term, it’s to grow the association such that every printer, sign maker or graphics based company wanted to join for the benefits and to support the Scottish Graphics industry.
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