6th January, 2022.
The second week of February is National Apprenticeships Week. To mark the occasion, we thought we’d take off our internal comms and employee hats for a bit and talk about our experience of apprenticeships and why they are so effective.
We are a growing business. In 2021 our workforce increased by 25% and that is set to continue in 2022. As a business we are very aware of the social and environmental impact we have. At the start of 2021 we knew that we needed to expand our marketing team and were also very aware of the challenge young people had in finding employment during the pandemic. This led us to the Kickstart Scheme. The Scheme looks to get people aged 16-24 years, who are at risk of long-term unemployment, into work.
This is the first time we had explored such a route and, if I’m honest, it was a rocky start. We had very few applications at the start and those we had were a poor match to the skills and background we needed. In hindsight, I think this was more due to teething problems with the process but at the time it made us feel dubious!
After a couple of months of searching we came across one CV that seemed a better fit. A few weeks later Dan started with us! The Kickstart Scheme lasts for 6 months and during this time Dan settled in brilliantly. At the end of the Kickstart Scheme we offered him a permanent role but we also explored routes to expand his qualifications because he has a big thirst for learning.
We quickly found a course that worked well for both Dan and us as his employer. Dan now continues to carry out his day job but also takes a day out a week to study for his Marketing degree.
The journey for us has been great. The process moved quickly and Dan was officially an apprentice just a couple of months after we looked into the options. The apprenticeship not only gives Dan an opportunity to expand his knowledge, it also brings fresh ideas and knowledge into our business. It’s this double benefit that made it an obvious choice for us.
But less about us. Let’s hear from Dan himself! Here’s his summary of apprenticeships:
“An apprenticeship appealed to me because it lets me learn new concepts whilst also putting those concepts into practice. It’s this combination of academic and practical experience that works really well for me.
Before I started I was apprehensive about fitting everything in. I always want to give 100% so to do that in work and in my studies, whilst also carrying on with everything else outside of work was daunting. But once I had a clear schedule I soon got into the rhythm and now it just feels normal!”
For us apprenticeships weren’t a planned route. As a business, we knew we wanted to support a young person in their career but what that route looked like very much depended on them. While we knew the format of an apprenticeship would work well within our business, unless it suited Dan as well, there was no point pursuing it. But as it happens, Dan’s enthusiasm and way of learning fits brilliantly, hence the success we’ve had to date.
If there are any businesses or potential apprentices considering an apprenticeship (or the Kickstart Scheme) we’d be more than happy to discuss our experiences with you. #AskAnEmployer #AskAnApprentice
With over 15 years’ experience in communications I have seen first-hand the difference strong internal communications can make. I am passionate about helping organisations reap the rewards of an engaged workforce and feel privileged to work for an organisation that has this same passion. We can achieve so much more when we work together towards the same goals.