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Celebrating Nathan Burns: Scotland’s Print Apprentice of the Year

Posted on June 20, 2023

We are thrilled to announce our apprentice, Nathan Burns, has won Print Scotland’s Overall Apprentice of the Year Award for 2023. This recognition is testament to Nathan's hard work, dedication and developing printing skills within CCL Design.

Kate Smith, CCL Design East Kilbride’s Production Manager commented:

“Nathan is a motivated member of our team, working hard to deliver high-quality results, regularly exceeding our expectations. Throughout his apprenticeship, Nathan has played a pivotal role in numerous printing projects. He is a great team player and his award is very well deserved.”

We caught up with Nathan, to ask him more about his apprenticeship journey in CCL Design:

1. What inspired you to pursue this particular apprenticeship?

When I left school I was keen to gain hands-on experience in a job where there were real opportunities to gain skills and progress. CCL Design has a great reputation for training and investing in its staff so when I heard about the apprenticeship opportunity I jumped at the chance.

2. Can you share a specific project or task that you are particularly proud of during your apprenticeship?

It’s difficult to pinpoint one specific job but it feels like a significant achievement to continuously meet my KPIs and be constantly learning. With targets around sustainability increasingly important, I am really proud of meeting my waste efficiency goals.

3. Can you highlight any challenges you’ve faced during your apprenticeship and how you overcame them?

The first time I was responsible for a print run, it definitely felt like a significant challenge. I remembered my training and took time to understand exactly what was required. I am naturally organised and methodical and being given responsibility, while being supported by an experienced team, has helped to build my skills and confidence.

4. How has the support and guidance from your mentors contributed to your success?

A key aspect of the apprenticeship has been the way my hands-on experience has integrated with the academic side of the programme. I am able to put into practice what I’ve learnt at college, but it also works the other way around, with my practical experience helping me complete my academic modules. East Kilbride’s highly-skilled and experienced team are central to this.

5. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job?

Firstly, solving problems. It is really fulfilling to find an issue and work through all the possible solutions, always with the aim of creating the best quality product. There’s a real sense of achievement in that.

Secondly, we work across a number of fast-moving industries with strict time deadlines on our projects. Bringing high-quality work in on time and meeting my KPIs is genuinely rewarding.

6. How has this apprenticeship influenced your future goals and aspirations?

My goals and aspirations have definitely grown since joining CCL Design. My original goal was always to work hard and pass my apprenticeship programme to become a fully-qualified flexographic printer. One of the most exciting aspects of the company is the number of people who initially joined through Apprenticeship and Graduate programmes and have worked their way up through the organisation, to senior, leadership positions. There are opportunities to manage projects, work in numerous locations across the globe and work with colleagues across numerous technical disciplines.

Investing in the Future of Print

Garry McLeish, CCL Design’s UK Operations Director commented:

“Nathan's success underscores CCL Design’s commitment to fostering young talent and investing in the future of the print industry. We take great pride in nurturing and supporting apprentices like Nathan, empowering them to reach their full potential.”

Print Scotland Apprenticeship Awards 2023 winners

Print Scotland

Print Scotland is the trade association and voice of Scotland’s graphic communication industry. The 8th Annual Print Apprenticeship Awards took place on Friday 16th June at the West Brewery, Glasgow.

Congratulations to Nathan and to Becky Young, Fraser Galloway and Laura MacDonald on your well-deserved awards.

If you are looking for the next career move, visit our job vacancies section for more information.