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  • 23 Jan 2017

Editor’s note – Skills gap

As L&L went to press, we heard of the closure of the DiTrolio Flexographic Institute in Chicago, Illinois.

Founded by Vince DiTrolio 17 years ago, the institute offered narrow web industry-specific training for flexographic press operators. It quickly won the support of key industry suppliers. Vince DiTrolio told L&L that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find funding at state and government levels to make the institute economically viable.

The DiTrolio Institute launched the careers of many press men and women and provided an invaluable resource for converters in the region. On a recent tour of the ASEAN region, I heard time and again that the skills shortage might actually hold back the development of the label industry.

In developed economies, the end of time-served apprenticeships (Germany is an honorable exception) has deprived converters of a pool of young talent for the future.

This is why the Label Academy is such a critically important project – almost a ‘lifeboat’ of industry knowledge. The learning modules are dedicated to the whole range of narrow web technology areas and the qualifications have been endorsed by TLMI and Finat, as well as an increasing number of regional associations.

This comment featured in L&L issue 6, 2016, which can be read here


Andy Thomas is strategic director of Labels & Labeling.

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