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Apprentices have been key to the success of print firm TJ Books

The Operations Director of an award-winning print firm says apprentices have been key to the success of the 53-year-old Cornish business.

Steve Rowson of TJ Books in Padstow is a firm believer in taking on people of all ages and backgrounds who want to earn as they master the skills they need for their chosen career.

“There are so many benefits,” said Steve, describing an apprentice at the firm who has gone from being a team leader to a supervisor and is now working his way through to being a production management trainee. “They bring with them enthusiasm and a willingness to learn,” added Steve. “That’s the most important thing. I think that’s really key to them being a success. We can give them all the skills but as long as they’ve got that willingness and enthusiasm, we can take them on a journey and they can add real value to the business.”

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TJ Books, established in 1969, has built up decades of experience working with authors and publishers throughout the country.

The company produces hardbound and soft bound books, catalogues, brochures using traditional print and binding equipment, as well as state-of-the-art digital print and binding technology.

Up to six apprentices have risen through the ranks here over the years, ending up as full-time employees across TJ Books range of departments, including in the firm’s offices, production, engineering and pre-press areas.


Steve said offering local people the chance to earn as they learn was an extremely rewarding process.

“You can see them grow,” he said, talking about the most recent apprentices who have been taking on roles throughout TJ Books production processes. “It’s about building confidence, getting professionalism, problem solving, team working… It’s fantastic for that.

“They learn how to behave, how to conduct themselves in a professional environment. I think it gives them good life skills for the future – it sets them up very nicely.”

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As well as helping people to develop and grow, Steve is convinced apprenticeships are a vital part of any firm’s future, allowing companies to recruit and mould their ideal employees.

TJ Books will be recruiting more apprentices throughout the business, particularly targeting young people in Cornwall who want to stay here and work locally rather than going to university.

“This is part of our strategy,” said Steve. “We’re heavily targeting training within this business and we see apprentices as a key part of that. We’re willing to invest the time and the money involved in any apprentice thinking of coming in to TJ Books and learning something different.”

Posted on 18th May 2022 | dca


We have seen many employees progress through apprenticeships, giving us the opportunity to produce high quality engineers

Darren Etherington, Production Director at Watson-Marlow

The value that the apprentices have added to our business has paid this back many times over

Michelle Pearce, Practice Director, RRL accountants

Apprenticeships aren’t just entry level jobs for youngsters coming straight out of school – they’re fantastic opportunities for upskilling existing employees too

Publican Mark Holden, Victoria Inn

It is absolutely essential that new blood is developed for the Bakery industry which is best done via the apprenticeship route

Mark Norton, Managing Director at Prima Bakeries

Apprentices invigorate our crews and the new roles have created a lot of excitement within the Service

Kathryn Billing, Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service Group Manager