FESPA is working through its Turkish National Association, ARED and has invested R251009,95 (50,000 Turkish Lira) in Mersinli Technical and Industrial Vocational College, Izmir, Turkey, creating a brand new educational programme for budding printers.

This project progresses FESPA’s substantial commitment to the region through a two-phase programme of targeted re-investment. The first phase saw the FESPA Board earmark more than a million rand (Euros 115,000) to support the gathering of regional market intelligence and developing pan-regional links. The second phase, instigated by the FESPA Eurasia Partner Committee, allocated a further R502019,90 (100,000 Turkish Lira) to local projects to promote wide format print.

The creation of the new college course in Izmir accounts for half of the funds assigned to the second phase; the remaining R251009,95 (50 000 Turkish Lira) will be spent on activity to spur print demand in the region, the details of which are being finalised by the FESPA Board and Eurasia Partner Committee.   

The new technical course in Izmir on industrial advertisement materials and digital print will cover areas such as CAD, industrial design, digital printing, metal surface treatment and basic electrical and lighting training. The course will be available to 25 students in the 2014-2015 academic period.

Neil Felton, FESPA CEO, commented, ‘By investing in grass roots print education in Turkey we hope to inspire the next generation of Turkish printers. With technology rapidly changing, the course will play a great part in providing students with knowledge of the industry as well as first-hand experience. Youth education and development is vital to our industry’s growth. Students bring new thoughts and creativity, helping to invigorate the wide format industry with fresh ideas.’

Ismet Uslu, Executive Vice President, Mersinli Technical and Industrial Vocational College, commented, ‘We are very excited that FESPA and ARED will open this educational programme in our college. It is a new chapter that allows students to get the right training to become employed within the industry.’

Students enrolled on the course will also have the opportunity to tour ARED members’ companies in order to familiarise themselves with the day-to-day running of a print business. ARED will support students to gain internships and practical experience in order to support their studies, as well as assisting them with employment once they have completed the course.

Birol Fedai, President of the Educational Relations Committee, ARED, added, ‘In Turkey, there are problems fulfilling print sector jobs with educated staff. After similar activities implemented by ARED in Istanbul and Ankara, opening a class in Izmir will help to increase the pool of trained personnel for the industry. The decision by the FESPA Eurasia Partner Committee to support education is great news for our community. Local businesses are aiding this by employing students and supplying them with scholarships. It really is helping to bring new blood to the industry and increase standards.’

The two-phase re-investment programme in Turkey and the surrounding geographies is part of FESPA’s global Profit for Purpose programme, which drives revenues from FESPA events back into the global print community through local initiatives to educate, share knowledge, promote best practice and encourage networking.

Neil Felton concluded, ‘Profit for Purpose is about giving back to our global community. With this investment we hope to inspire the decision-makers of the future. We’re also continuing to invest heavily in the Eurasia region, working with local stakeholders to develop industry relationships and gathering regional market research. This investment helped us to make the inaugural FESPA Eurasia 2013 a truly pan-regional event, and we are committed to building on that success with the second edition of FESPA Eurasia this December.’