Labor Shortages Impact Printing Industry: drupa – A Meeting Point For Young Talent And Skilled Labor

CHICAGO, IL — May 16, 2024 — “The print industry has been impacted by (skilled) labor shortages for years,” stated Heidelberger Druckmaschinen. According to a study recently published by this leading provider of sheet-offset printing presses, nearly one in two companies lack suitable skilled staff. This is currently the biggest challenge  – even ranking ahead of increased energy prices and bureaucratic burdens. For the study, the company surveyed 700 firms. The Heidelberg-based company sees automation and digitalization as solutions to the staff shortages in print shops. The aim is to make jobs more technical and attractive to more employees.[2] At drupa the company will present its technical and innovative solutions.

However, skilled workers remain the be-all and end-all despite increasing automation and New Work concepts. Recruiting will therefore be a major topic at drupa, the leading international trade fair for print technologies, to be held in Düsseldorf, Germany from May 28 to June 7, 2024. The trade fair will be an important meeting place for companies looking to attract future employees and trainees.

The “drupa next age” special forum, for example, will be all about the industry’s genetic code – “drupa dna”. This forum is a contact point  for start-ups and innovative young as well as long-established companies. Here, the Stuttgart Media University together with the International Circle of Educational Institutes for Graphic Media Technology and Management, will provide a contact point for alumni, students and trainees. Potential junior staff and students are thus given the opportunity to talk to the employers of the future and get to know draft concepts and best-practice cases.

Association initiatives in the field of education

Numerous initiatives promote careers in the printing industry and support companies in raising greater awareness about professions and job profiles in the sector. The German federal associations organized in the BVDM (German Association Print and Media), for example, have initiated training videos that let trainees in the field of media technology, print, screen printing and print processing as well as digital and print media designers have a say. Here young people emphasize that their training not only comes with above-average wages but is also great fun and synonymous with a secure professional future.

The Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (VDMA) launched the “Talentmaschine/Talent Machine” campaign in April, designed to get young people interested in technologies and careers in machinery and equipment building.

At drupa, the Fachverband Medienproduktion (FMP) will celebrate the premiere of its industry initiative WE.ARE.PRINT. This is a platform for the print and media industries based on partnership, networking and talent promotion.

In addition, the creative and innovative work of students and trainees will be presented in numerous special forums and projects at drupa. Sabine Geldermann, Project Director Print Technologies Messe Düsseldorf, commented: “drupa offers print service providers and their upstream suppliers the unique opportunity to showcase the future of the industry, thereby selectively reaching out to skilled labor and young talent. I am convinced that more and more young people will be attracted by this innovative industry in future and will want to enter a profession in the print industry.”

For information about drupa 2024, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America; E-mail:  Visit and Check out the drupa blog:

[1] Labour market figures for the print industry; and


Posted: May 16, 2024

Source: Messe Düsseldorf North America