Warwick printing business which started in garden shed takes on first apprentice thanks to a business support organisation

Nina Beale, who set up Ginger the Art of Print in 2009, has employed Charlotte Blair to help with the digital marketing side of the business

A fine art printing company in Warwick has recruited its first apprentice after receiving help from a business support organisation.

Ginger the Art of Print was set-up from owner Nina Bale’s garden shed in 2009 before moving to commercial premises in Warwick nine months later when she employed her first full-time staff member Michael Cunnane.

Since then, the duo has been busy working with artists and photographers to re-produce their original artwork.

From the left: Laura Delahunty and Rich Hales (both from CWLEP Growth Hub) with Michael Cunnane, Jade Summers, Nina Bale and Charlotte Blair (Ginger the Art of Print).

After the first ten weeks of lockdown last year, the business began to receive orders again from its loyal customer base – and the success of its social media thanks to help from work experience student Jade Summers, made Nina re-assess their strategy which led to her contacting the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub for advice on recruiting an apprentice.

Nina, who named the business after the colour of her hair, said: "I have never employed an apprentice before I wasn’t sure how to go about it and was keen to get it right.

“I found out about the Growth Hub and I had a meeting with one of their business navigators Laura Delahunty and she was really supportive as well as introducing us to Coventry & Warwickshire Employment Solutions.

"I know it sounds odd because I have been in business for 12 years but I have never had to conduct a job interview before because Michael was someone I knew from the printing industry.

"“Coventry & Warwickshire Employment Solutions looked over the advert, went through every application with me and helped me with questions to ask at the interviews.

"It was the hand-holding I needed through every stage because I wouldn’t have felt as confident as I do that we have found the right person.”

Nina has now taken on Charlotte Blair as Ginger's digital marketing apprentice and she will be dividing her time between promoting the business to learning about printing.

Nina said:: “We have never really marketed ourselves before and have generally relied on word of mouth.

“The majority of our customers are based in Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, so Charlotte will be focusing on raising our profile on different platforms and from further afield.

“She will also be finding out more about the printing and creating card layouts as well as meeting customers which will also lead to social media content.

“This is a really exciting step forward for the business and the support and help of the Growth Hub has been invaluable.”

For more information about the help Coventry & Warwickshire Employment Solutions can provide to your business visit www.cwemploymentsolutions.co.uk