Professionals working in the toner and ink cartridge industry are taking steps to reward future talent.

Winners of this year's PrintIT! Competition, which attracted entrants from more than 16,000 students at 350 different schools, were announced at the recent Northprint exhibition.

The competition is designed to encourage youngsters into a career in the print industry.

Printer and ink cartridge manufacturers including Canon and HP were among the sponsors of this year's event.

Nur Nurmahomed from Beauchamp College in Leicestershire was announced this year's overall winner, although category prizes were also given for innovative concepts, the best understanding of printing technique and material use, as well as knowledge of environmental concerns.

Professional print channel director at Canon UK and the outgoing chairman of PrintIT! Wayne Barlow said: "PrintIT! is unique in the printing industry and, I suspect, many other industries could learn a great deal from how the concept inspires young people to examine a specific market sector in new and exciting ways."

The competition asks students to research and design two printed products, taking into consideration factors such as cost effectiveness, material use, manufacturing processes and product life-cycle.