AN ambitious company has launched a training division to offer students hands-on experience while helping to reduce printing costs for educational organisations.

Newton Aycliffe-based Schoolprint, part of the Splash Print Management group, offers opportunities for graphic design students to demonstrate their skills and gain experience in a competitive industry by working on projects specifically for the education sector.

As a result, schools, colleges, universities and other training establishments can benefit from significant savings on their printing costs.

The company has worked with organisations such as Freebrough Academy, in Brotton, near Saltburn, east Cleveland, the Education Village, in Darlington, and The Chorister School, in Durham City.

Student Jonathan Minns is in his second year of a foundation degree in graphic design at New College Durham and works with School-print two days a week.

He said: “School-print gives me the opportunity to work on real world projects while studying in the final year of my degree.

School-print has helped me get the long-term studio experience that is vital to any graphic design graduate in the current climate. It’s a great idea and I am thrilled to be involved in some really interesting projects.”

Sharon Hutchinson established the business in January 2011.

“The education sector is increasingly competitive and schools and colleges need to create the right image on a small budget,” she said.

“At the same time, students often find it difficult to enter the competitive design sector, as they need hands-on experience which can be hard to come by.

“School-print is a win-win situation as educational establishments get the high level of results they expect, but with time and money savings, while students build an impressive portfolio working in their chosen industry in a sector they understand.”