Skip to main content

Author: Mary McCabe

Print Media In Person Event

Today we held one of our in-person training sessions for the Print Media Technician Programme. We are delighted to share the highlights of this enriching and hands-on experience.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the participants for their enthusiasm, dedication, and active engagement throughout the day. Your commitment to learning and professional growth truly made this session a success.

A special thank you goes out to our exceptional trainers. Your expertise, patience, and passion for print media have inspired and equipped our participants with invaluable skills. Your contribution is deeply appreciated.

We would also like to thank Chris and all at Merits for an exceptional job in hosting us today.

Please enjoy this collection of moments captured during our training session. We hope these photos reflect the knowledge gained, connections made, and the vibrant spirit of our programme.

DPP Skillnet is co-funded by the Government of Ireland, the European Union, and network companies.

Level Up with Print Media

Calling all those interested in a career in the dynamic world of print ! The Print Media Technician Programme is a fantastic opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills you need to thrive in this industry.

What is the Print Media Technician Programme?

This collaborative effort by the Irish Printing Federation and Design Print & Packaging Skillnet is designed to address the industry’s need for skilled professionals. The programme offers a two-year pathway to develop your foundational knowledge as a Print Media Technician.

Who can participate?

The programme is open to individuals from all sectors of the printing and packaging industry, including Litho, Digital, Finishing, Large Format, Labels, and Services.  

What will you learn?

The programme covers a wide range of topics, delivered through a blend of online tutor-led classes, practical experience, and masterclasses. Here’s a taste of what you’ll be learning:

  • Understanding workplace practices in the print environment
  • Pre-press, print & digital artwork
  • Operating print & digital printing machines
  • Operating print & digital finishing machines
  • Contributing to improving the effectiveness of a print company
  • Health and safety in the print work environment
  • Good manufacturing practice

Benefits of the Programme

  • Gain the foundational knowledge and skills needed for a successful career in print and packaging
  • Improve your understanding of the entire print production process
  • Learn from industry experts and gain valuable real-life experience
  • Earn a recognized qualification upon completion

How to Apply

If you’re interested in participating in the Print Media Technician Programme, email your expression of interest to This is a heavily subsidized program thanks to the Design Print & Packaging Skillnet, the Government of Ireland, and the European Union. Don’t miss this chance to invest in your future in the exciting world of print and packaging!

Benefits of Completing a Masters

A master’s degree is a higher level of academic achievement than a bachelor’s degree and has been considered a stepping stone for career advancement and personal growth. Over the past few decades, the demand for master’s degrees has grown rapidly as more individuals seek to specialize in a particular field, increase their earning potential, and achieve personal and professional goals.

The first and most obvious benefit of completing a master’s program is increased earning potential. A master’s degree is often seen as a requirement for many high-paying careers, and those who hold a master’s degree are often paid more than those who only have a bachelor’s degree. This is because master’s programs provide students with advanced knowledge and skills in their field, which employers find highly valuable. Additionally, the higher earning potential associated with a master’s degree can provide individuals with financial security and stability, allowing them to make better decisions about their future.

Another benefit of completing a master’s program is the opportunity to specialize in a particular field. A master’s program allows individuals to focus on a specific area of study, allowing them to gain a deep understanding of the subject matter. This increased knowledge and expertise can lead to increased opportunities for career advancement, as individuals who specialize in a particular field are often seen as experts in their area of expertise.

In addition to increasing earning potential and allowing for specialization, a master’s degree can also provide individuals with a sense of personal fulfillment. Pursuing a master’s program requires a significant investment of time, energy, and money, but the end result is a sense of achievement and personal growth. This can help individuals feel more confident in their abilities and feel more satisfied with their personal and professional lives.

Finally, completing a master’s program can lead to increased networking opportunities. Many master’s programs bring students together from diverse backgrounds and industries, providing individuals with the opportunity to meet and network with others who share their interests and goals. This can lead to valuable professional relationships and opportunities for collaboration and growth.

In conclusion, completing a master’s program has many benefits, including increased earning potential, specialization in a particular field, personal fulfillment, and increased networking opportunities. While pursuing a master’s program is a significant investment of time and resources, the long-term benefits make it a worthwhile investment for those who are committed to advancing their careers and achieving their personal and professional goals.

If you have been considering doing a Masters programme this year but have been put off by lengthy academic programmes and concerns about going back to education when you’re trying to run a small business, the TU Dublin awarded Masters in Professional Practice, kicking off this November, is just the right programme for you.

The Importance of Training in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator

In the digital age, creativity isn’t just a talent—it’s a skill set that can be honed and perfected through practice and education. Adobe’s suite of design tools, including Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, stands at the forefront of creative software, offering unparalleled capabilities for professionals and enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re an aspiring graphic designer, a marketing professional, or simply someone with a passion for visual creativity, training in these programs is essential. Here’s why investing time in learning these tools is a game-changer.

1. Adobe Photoshop: The King of Image Editing

Why Learn Photoshop?

Photoshop is the industry standard for photo editing and manipulation. It offers a vast array of tools and features that allow users to transform images in almost any way imaginable. From basic retouching to complex photo compositions, mastering Photoshop can significantly enhance your ability to produce professional-grade visuals.

Key Benefits:

  • Versatility: Photoshop isn’t just for photo editing; it can be used for digital painting, graphic design, and even creating GIFs and short animations.
  • Precision: With tools like layers, masks, and adjustment layers, you can make precise edits that are non-destructive, meaning you can always revert back to the original state.
  • Integration: Photoshop seamlessly integrates with other Adobe products, making it a central part of any digital workflow.

2. Adobe InDesign: The Master of Layouts

Why Learn InDesign?

InDesign is the go-to software for creating professional layouts for both print and digital publishing. Whether you’re designing a magazine, brochure, eBook, or interactive PDF, InDesign provides the tools to create complex layouts with precision and ease.

Key Benefits:

  • Professional Layouts: InDesign’s robust typesetting and layout tools help ensure that your documents look polished and professional.
  • Efficiency: With features like master pages, styles, and templates, you can streamline your workflow and maintain consistency across your projects.
  • Interactive PDFs: InDesign allows you to add interactive elements to your PDFs, such as hyperlinks, buttons, and multimedia, enhancing the user experience.

3. Adobe Illustrator: The Vector Graphics Champion

Why Learn Illustrator?

Illustrator is the leading software for creating vector graphics. Unlike raster images, vector graphics are resolution-independent, meaning they can be scaled to any size without losing quality. This makes Illustrator essential for logo design, icon creation, typography, and illustrations.

Key Benefits:

  • Scalability: Create graphics that can be scaled infinitely without loss of quality, perfect for logos and branding materials.
  • Precision: Tools like the Pen tool and various shape tools allow for precise control over your designs.
  • Creative Freedom: Illustrator’s extensive brush libraries, patterns, and effects give you the creative freedom to experiment and innovate.

The Importance of Training

While the potential of these tools is immense, unlocking their full capabilities requires proper training. Here are a few reasons why formal training is beneficial:

  • Structured Learning: Courses provide a structured path from basic to advanced techniques, ensuring you build a solid foundation before moving on to more complex tasks.
  • Expert Guidance: Learning from experienced professionals means you get insights, tips, and tricks that you might not find in self-study.
  • Hands-On Practice: Training sessions often include practical exercises that reinforce learning and help you apply what you’ve learned to real-world scenarios.
  • Stay Updated: Adobe constantly updates its software with new features. Training sessions ensure you’re always up-to-date with the latest tools and techniques.

Investing in training for Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator is an investment in your creative future. These tools are not just software; they are gateways to unleashing your imagination and professional potential. Whether you’re looking to enhance your career prospects, improve your business’s visual communication, or simply explore a new hobby, mastering these programs will provide you with the skills and confidence to create stunning, impactful designs. So, take the plunge, enroll in a course, and start your journey towards becoming a creative powerhouse.

See our full training schedule here –

Innovation and resilience the hallmark of print sector

Source – Business Post 10th May 2024

The 45th annual awards ceremony involving 30 categories showcases the creativity and quality of the industry in Ireland

The dynamism evident throughout the Irish print industry was celebrated at the 45th Irish Print Awards which took place on April 26 in Clontarf Castle, Dublin.

A total of 320 of the sector’s finest talents turned out for the gala ceremony with Alan Shortt as MC. With 30 categories assessed by an independent panel of judges, the awards shone the spotlight on the creativity and resilience that define the Irish print sector.

Joe O’Callaghan, network manager of design, print and packaging Skillnet, and a member of the Irish Print Federation, a sponsor of the awards, said that with the print apprenticeship no longer there for trainees in the print sector, the print and media technician programme is available to all printing and related industry.

The programme is intended to provide the foundational knowledge required for a print media technician, he said. Heavily subsidised by the design, print and packaging Skillnet, the course is run over two years. It is delivered through online tutor-led classes, working with the trainees and their companies.

Suitable for participants from throughout the industry including litho, digital, finishing, large format, packaging, labels and services, accreditation is provided on completion of the course.

Over 40 years in the printing industry, I have seen so many changes and advances in technology

Michael Grimes, business development manager, Canon Ireland, another awards sponsor, said that for Canon as a supplier of professional printing equipment, software and imaging supplies to the Irish print industry, it is vital to encourage talent, not only to attract more into the industry but also to retain staff and support the history and future of this ever-evolving industry.

“In addition to our usual sponsorships of the graphic design and print collaboration award, we are also contributing a bursary for one deserving candidate’s enrolment fee for the master’s of professional practice in partnership with design, print and packaging Skillnet and TU Dublin,” he said.

Canon will also be providing a bursary for next year’s enrolment to one candidate in the print media technician programme, again supported by DPP Skillnet. Other sponsors were: EBB, FujiFilm, GPMI, Heidelberg, HP, Irish Print Federation, Select hotels of Ireland and Trimwel/3M.

Sales and sponsorship director, Trish Murphy of Ashville Media, organisers of the event, presented the print of the year award, the overall winner on the night, to Anglo Printers.

“The coveted print of the year is the Irish Print Awards’ highest accolade and was chosen by the Irish Print Awards 2023 judging panel following a review of all finalists across this year’s categories. The winner of this category has shown not just superior craftsmanship but also the ability to push the boundaries of creativity and technology,” said the Irish Print Awards commercial director.

“This award is testament to the company’s commitment to delivering outstanding printed materials that captivate audiences and exceed expectations. It serves as a symbol of achievement, distinguishing the winner as a leader in the field and a benchmark for quality and innovation within the Irish print community.”

Congratulating the winners and all participants, Murphy said that the Irish Print Awards continue to be a beacon for excellence, encouraging creative professionals to strive for recognition in the marketplace. “Every entry narrates a story of innovation and resilience, reflecting the opportunity-rich state of our industry.”

A special highlight of the evening was the presentation of the lifetime achievement award to Dave Heary, a revered figure in the printing community. His lifelong dedication and contribution to the industry was warmly congratulated. Having started out as an apprentice printer with JJ Lalor Ltd in 1979, he worked in a range of roles in the Irish print industry, finishing up as company director with Graphocolor Ltd (Huber Group) in 2022.

His late father, Noel, was a printer and it became a family tradition to work in the industry. His two mottos in sales were: ’The customer is king’ and ‘You are only as good as your last delivery.’

“Over 40 years in the printing industry, I have seen so many changes in the trade and advances in technology. Every day was a school day, as you learned something new or experienced something new, most days,” Heary said. “It is sad to think of the people, companies, and supplier names that no longer exist in the trade. However, the trade is full of highly motivated and passionate people who embrace change, move forward, and keep printing alive.”

DPP Skillnet is co-funded by the Government of Ireland, the European Union, and network companies.

First Published in Business Post on 10 May 2024

Source – Business Post

Unlocking Career Potential: Returning to Education While Employed

In a world where career trajectories are ever-evolving and competitive landscapes are constantly shifting, the pursuit of further education while remaining employed has emerged as a powerful strategy for those seeking to unlock new career opportunities and propel their professional growth. Whether driven by the desire for personal development, the need to stay relevant in a rapidly changing industry, or the ambition to climb the corporate ladder, returning to education while holding down a job has become a viable pathway to success for many individuals.

Embracing Lifelong Learning

Gone are the days when education was viewed as a one-time endeavor confined to the formative years of youth. Today, the concept of lifelong learning reigns supreme, with individuals recognizing the importance of continuously updating their skills and knowledge to thrive in an ever-evolving workforce. Returning to education while employed epitomizes this philosophy, allowing individuals to augment their existing skill sets, stay abreast of industry trends, and remain competitive in their respective fields.

Maximizing Career Potential

One of the primary motivations behind returning to education while employed is the desire to maximize career potential. Whether aiming for a promotion within their current organization or seeking better opportunities elsewhere, individuals recognize that acquiring additional qualifications can significantly enhance their marketability and open doors to higher-level positions. Advanced degrees, specialized certifications, or even short courses tailored to specific skills can all serve as catalysts for career advancement, empowering individuals to take charge of their professional futures.

Balancing Act: Work, Study, and Life

Undoubtedly, juggling work, study, and personal commitments can be a daunting task. Returning to education while employed requires a delicate balance, necessitating strong time-management skills, discipline, and a supportive network. From attending evening classes and dedicating weekends to study sessions to leveraging online learning platforms for flexibility, individuals embarking on this journey must be prepared to make sacrifices and prioritize their goals effectively. While the road may be challenging, the rewards of career advancement and personal fulfillment make the endeavor worthwhile.

Bridging Theory and Practice

One of the inherent advantages of returning to education while employed is the ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Unlike traditional full-time students who may lack real-world experience, working professionals bring a wealth of practical knowledge to the classroom, enriching academic discussions with insights garnered from their professional endeavors. Conversely, the theoretical frameworks and academic rigor encountered during further education serve to complement and contextualize practical experiences, resulting in a holistic learning experience that is both intellectually stimulating and immediately applicable in real-world settings.

Navigating Challenges

While the benefits of returning to education while employed are plentiful, navigating this journey is not without its challenges. From financial considerations and time constraints to the potential for burnout, individuals must be prepared to confront obstacles along the way. Employers play a pivotal role in facilitating this process, with progressive organizations offering support in the form of tuition reimbursement, flexible work arrangements, and mentorship programs designed to help employees balance their professional and academic pursuits.

Returning to education while employed represents a transformative opportunity for individuals seeking to further their career prospects and unlock their full potential. By embracing the ethos of lifelong learning, balancing competing demands, and leveraging the synergy between theory and practice, working professionals can chart a course towards personal and professional fulfillment. In an era defined by rapid technological advancements and evolving job markets, the decision to invest in one’s education while maintaining employment is not just a strategic choice—it’s a commitment to continuous growth and success in the ever-changing landscape of the modern workforce.

Celebrating Excellence: Congratulating the Winner of the Bursary Award and Extending Gratitude to Canon Ireland as Sponsors

It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce the winner of this year’s prestigious Masters in Professional Practice Bursary Award! But before we dive into celebrating this remarkable achievement, we want to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude to Canon Ireland, whose generous sponsorship made this recognition possible.

First and foremost, congratulations are in order! We applaud Ronan Quinn for his outstanding contributions and achievements. His commitment to excellence, innovative thinking, and unwavering dedication have set him apart as a true leader in his field. This award is a well-deserved acknowledgment of his talent and perseverance.

None of this would have been possible without the invaluable support of our sponsor, Canon Ireland and Michael Grimes for arranging this. Their commitment to fostering talent and recognizing excellence aligns perfectly with the ethos of the Bursary Award. We extend our deepest gratitude to Canon for their unwavering support and belief in the power of acknowledging outstanding individuals.

Sponsorship plays a crucial role in nurturing talent and celebrating achievements. Canon’s support has not only helped elevate the Bursary Award to new heights but has also provided our winner with a platform to shine and inspire others.

“For Canon Ireland as a supplier of professional printing equipment, software and imaging supplies to the Irish Print Industry we believe it is vitally important to encourage talent not only to move into this industry but also to stay within and support both the history and future of this ever evolving, innovative industry in Ireland.

We believe that DPP Skillnet courses such as the “Masters in Professional Practice” not only help individuals gain advantage in their own career development but also help business’ who strive for growth to retain and attract talented professionals.” (Michael Grimes – Cannon Ireland).

This year Canon were delighted to provided bursary for one deserving candidate’s enrolment fee in the ‘Masters in Professional Practice’, in partnership DPP Skillnet & TU Dublin. Furthermore, we will be providing bursary for the next years enrolment to one candidate in the “Print Media Technician programme again supported by DPP Skillnet, details to follow in the coming months!”

As we celebrate the winner of the Bursary Award, let us also celebrate the spirit of collaboration, encouragement, and recognition that lies at the heart of this endeavour. Together, we can continue to support and uplift individuals who are making a meaningful impact in their respective fields.

Once again, congratulations to Ronan on this remarkable achievement, and thank you to Canon Ireland for your invaluable support. Here’s to celebrating excellence and inspiring greatness!

Irish Print Awards 2023

DPP Skillnet was pleased to participate in the Irish Print Awards held at Clontarf Castle, Dublin, on Friday, April 26th, 2024. The event provided an exceptional opportunity to witness the commendable work of numerous outstanding companies and celebrate their achievements.

Congratulations to all the winners on the night.

Diploma in Packaging Testimonial

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our highly anticipated Diploma in Packaging Technology course for 2024. As we embark on this exciting journey, we invite you to explore the firsthand experiences of our recent graduate Tom Fitzpatrick, through his insightful testimonial.

I’ve had a varied career, all Print and Packaging related and I have worked for Brand Agencies, Print and Repro Companies, Heinz Packaging as well as founding my own packaging design business, Link Design Studios.

I had always worked in Packaging but I had no formal qualification. I had a plan to pivot my career.  I chose the Diploma in Packaging Technology with DPP Skillnet as it was only one academic year and I had great recommendations about the course content, the lecturers and of the opportunities It could bring.

My plan worked as I believe that my qualification in Packaging Technology, globally recognised and accredited by TU Dublin, was a key factor in my career progression into Packaging Sustainability role with a global Retail Group.

We live a fast paced world of where packaging development and sustainability requirements are ever evolving. The diploma also had the advantage for me to network with and meet like-minded Packaging Professionals which is a key part to help me further develop my knowledge and experience.

Tom Fitzpatrick

Packaging Performance Advisor – Primark

Why You Should Train in AI: Power Up Your Career and the Future

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming our world, and it’s not just about sci-fi movies anymore. From self-driving cars to medical diagnosis, AI is finding its way into every industry. This shift creates a massive opportunity for those who understand and can work with AI. Whether you’re looking for a career change or want to future-proof your current job, here’s why you should consider AI training:

1. Become an In-Demand Pro: AI skills are in high demand across sectors. Companies are hungry for professionals who can develop, implement, and manage AI solutions. Training in AI can open doors to exciting new careers or give you a leg up in your current field.

2. Boost Your Problem-Solving Skills: AI is all about using data to solve complex problems. By learning AI techniques, you’ll develop critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze information in new ways. This makes you a valuable asset in any job.

3. Stay Ahead of the Curve: The world is constantly evolving, and AI is at the forefront. Understanding AI will equip you to adapt to new technologies and stay relevant in the job market.

4. Make a Positive Impact: AI has the potential to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, from healthcare to climate change. By getting involved in AI, you can contribute to making the world a better place.

Where to Begin? Join our Understanding AI Webinar – Understanding AI Webinar April 24 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm Registration only €5

Understanding AI Webinar – Training for Design, Print & Packaging companies (