The BPIF has laid out a path for future growth having laid to rest the spectre of its pension deficit and made the move to premises with a lower overhead.
Charles Jarrold, chief executive, speaking at the federation’s AGM, explained that membership had increased and that the BPIF represented around half the turnover in the UK print industry. And he issued a plea for members to use the federation’s services on training, employment and health and safety where the consequences of making errors can be both very serious and expensive.
He thanked Anne Copley, head of BPIF legal team, to be replaced by the promoted Nicola Langley and freshly recruited Dylan Rowlands.
There had been a surplus of £164,000 in the year, an increase from 2015. But the organisation had incurred costs moving from Spitalfiels to Ludgate Circus in central London where the BPIF's London office is in the building owned by the St Bride Foundation. The federation can now seek areas with long term potential and will focus on these Jarrold told the meeting. It has agreed a plan with the trustees of the BPIF pension scheme, allowing it to “build a trade association of growth”.
This will be helped by recruitment of three members to the the BPIF's board of directors alongside newly appointed president Darren Coxon. These are Doug Kinsman, operations director of SG World; Mark Roberts, managing director of Acorn Web Offset and Robin Sumner, managing director of Romax.
While finding services to grow the federation’s activities, Jarrold is conscious that a Brexit inspired recession would reverse membership growth.
Later in the day, on a terrace at the House of Lords overlooking the Thames, he expanded on the themes of the Priorities for Print which provides statistics and spells out the challenges for the industry to inform politicians and policymakers.
The three key priorities are covered by “productivity, profitability and promotion” he told MPs, union officials and representatives of the wider industry under the auspices of the All Parliamentary Print Group. To improve productivity, he called for continued support for companies investing in training and removal of barriers to investment, particularly the inclusion of some elements of investment in rates valuation.
The profitability issue can be addressed by new regulations on late payment and tackling issues related to prepacks. The 2014 Graham Report has recommended support for prepacks as a means of maintaining employment, but Jarrold warned that while the BPIF has supported the report, “much needs to be done” to continue that support.
And in terms of promotion, Jarrold fired a shot calling on government to continue to support zero rating of books and magazines in VAT terms, and to simplify the tendering process to enable many more companies to participate in winning government work.
The BPIF's chief executive told members that the federation was looking for longer term challenges and the wider industry at the Houses of Parliament that the industry needed better promotion, to increase productivity and grow profitability and the government could help.
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