Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity for employers to share their years of industry knowledge and expertise with those just taking their first steps onto a career path. It’s a mutually beneficial way to impart skills and knowledge and benefit from fresh thinking.
The BASE team at Bournemouth & Poole College are dedicated to helping organisations in a wide range of sectors to recruit new apprenticeship talent.
We’ve caught up with Bournemouth and London based new business experts Street Agency about what it’s been like having an apprentice in their team. Street Agency help agencies attract and win work with the brands that need them. They also provide monthly webinars, podcasts and training sessions, and keep on top of the latest news, working with agencies to help them become recognised within a busy market.
Finding the right apprentice
Head of Agency Marketing, Michaela has been working closely with Digital Marketing apprentice Whitney to help her progress through her apprenticeship with the company. “We’re a fast-paced agency and we realised we needed some help to just get things done and push things forward. We wanted to hire someone that could learn from our team and their skills as well as someone that we could learn from”. Michaela and the team recruited their apprentice through Bournemouth & Poole College, which Michaela describes as rewarding with “a really simple recruitment process”.
“They filtered through CVs for us with regards to our requirements, we then had interviews with the shortlist and made an offer. The College were there every step of the way, and are always at the end of the phone if we have any queries.”
Why an Apprenticeship?
Whitney explains why she wanted to pursue an apprenticeship. “From being self-employed I wanted to learn something new and expand my knowledge. I wanted to begin my career in something that would be exciting and thought provoking and being in marketing can be both those things. Having the ability to be creative and see the practical side of things is a great way to learn skills you can use in any industry.”
So how has Street Agency’s apprentice, Whitney, changed their business? Michaela explains that it has given them more time to get things done! “Luckily our apprentice is full of ideas and it’s great to see these come to life and make a real difference to the business. Initially I helped Whitney with how to post our podcast, Word on the Street, on our website and social media platforms. I’m now able to leave her to do it when each episode is released, which has enabled me to work on other things within the business.”
We can all agree that it has been a difficult time for everyone looking for a job. Businesses have had to adapt to new ways of working and people job hunting, like Whitney, have had to find other routes into their career. “The College was great when it came to finding an apprenticeship. Which was helpful for me as when I was looking the world was dealing with the pandemic.”
Adapting to online
With the past year forcing those able to work from home, it means that Whitney and Michaela have had to move their work online. It’s now not uncommon for new members of staff to have their first day from the comfort of their own home! Michaela explains that they have only “worked together in the office a handful of times, as the majority of the time we’ve been at home having Teams calls.
“Obviously with any new member of staff you need to support them, so you need to dedicate time to them. We have a catch up every morning at 9 to talk about what was achieved the day before and what the tasks are for the day and if there are any blockers. It’s important to check in and be available throughout the day if they have any questions as things crop up.”
Just like hiring a new member of staff, it’s important to have things in place for their first day. But what about an apprentice’s first day? Michaela has explained how she prepared for Whitney to start with Street Agency, having taken apprentices on before. “I put together some tasks for the first week so I could get an idea of the work the apprentice could produce. I arranged meetings to speak with the rest of the team, to help get an understanding of the business and how we operate, as well as calls with external people such as our web team, podcast company and our social media management platform.”
Apprenticeship best bits!
Michaela says the most rewarding part for her is seeing how the apprentice can develop throughout their 18 months. “Apprentices are hard working as not only do they work with you and have a college day out each week, they also have to fit around their assignments and reading during the rest of the week. Apprentices are very quick learners and strive to do their best, so it’s really rewarding to watch and help with their progress.”
But what about Whitney? For her, the best part about being an apprentice is “having the ability to make creative leading decisions that impact the business and the feeling that I am taking the first steps to an amazing future.”
For advice to those looking for an apprenticeship, Whitney offers, “when looking, make sure it’s right for you. Not if you’re right for them.”
Apprenticeships are open for anyone over 16 and, coupled with the great choice of programmes going all the way up to degree level, there are huge possibilities for businesses to find emerging talent. At the College, we offer over 30 different apprenticeship in a range of industries and sectors, so if you would like to find out more about what an apprentice can do for your business, or how we can help, get in contact today at email@example.com