Opinion

My Digital Apprenticeship – is it worth it?

By Taylor Setterfield

Never in a million years would I have expected a job, let alone an apprenticeship to help me flourish in so many different ways.

I started my Digital Marketing Apprenticeship at LEAP Chichester in September 2019. I’ve been here for 7 months, but in that short period of time I’ve developed not only academically and professionally, but also personally. This apprenticeship really has helped to shape me as a person. When you are surrounded by talented people who have integrity it’s impossible not to grow positively as an individual – I hope I can give other people the potential to succeed just as much as I am.

Why go down the apprenticeship path?

The experience.

In an apprenticeship, you’ll learn valuable first-hand experience from the very first day you start. It gives you a hands-on experience where you can encounter what life is like within the industry you really want to work in. There are thousands of different apprenticeships specialising in so many different areas, there is bound to be the right one for you out there. Working whilst learning allows you to build confidence – this is a key quality to have in any industry. The more confident you are, the more positive opportunities you’ll find yourself in. Another benefit of an Apprenticeship is building up your contacts! This is particularly helpful if you stay in the same industry as being able to start your career a lot earlier can give you a competitive advantage.

Guidance and support.

Instead of going to University or doing A levels, you can work and learn at the same time… no more student loans, detentions, lectures – sounds great, right? However, an apprenticeship is taught in a very different way. Not only are you learning new information through your job, but you’re also expanding your knowledge in your classroom sessions which you can apply to real-life situations and the best thing about an apprenticeship? You’re in control of it. Your teachers, your managers and your colleagues will help to guide and teach you along the way, but you have to be willing to take the initiative and make the most out of this opportunity. 

I work in the office 4 days a week and have Fridays off for my self-study day (if a 3 day weekend doesn’t tempt you, I’m not sure what else will). I also have to go into college once a month for our classroom sessions. My apprenticeship programme is through a company called Creative Process who are based in Brighton, East Sussex and they specialise in digital apprenticeships so it’s an amazing opportunity to get to know other people who are in similar industries doing the same programme and compare how our roles all differ from one another. Recently, these classroom sessions have turned into online classroom sessions, however whichever way they’re delivered the education is to a high standard.

Apprentices are a long term recruitment strategy and once employees have completed their apprenticeships 92% of our employers retain their services.

Phillip Perryman, Creative Process

High levels of satisfaction.

Not only am I working for an amazing company whilst getting an amazing qualification – I also feel valued. An apprenticeship can motivate, inspire and encourage you to become the best version of yourself in every aspect of life, this can be achieved through; the responsibility you’re given within your role, the opportunity to expand your knowledge, being encouraged by everybody within the workplace, taking the initiative to apply innovative ideas, learning how different concepts can be applied in different ways and most importantly the feeling of being part of an incredible team – it makes you feel like an asset rather than a cost. Everyone here at LEAP is extremely talented at what they do; they all have different qualities, but when they come together they create something beautiful and I’m proud to be a part of it. Not only does the overall environment satisfy me, but the feeling of finishing the apprenticeship with a recognisable qualification gives me something to work towards. And of course… we can’t forget the most obvious reason, you get paid whilst learning!

Interested?

Starting my apprenticeship at LEAP was by far the best decision I’ve ever made. I have met the most incredible people and have learnt the most incredible things during the last 7 months. I can only hope that through reading this blog you may consider taking a similar path to myself and hopefully, you’ll end up landing on your feet too! There is not a single aspect of my busy work life which I would change, everything I do I find enjoyable, and I genuinely wake up excited in the mornings to see what the day holds!

So, if you’ve been inspired to go down the apprenticeship path…

  • Find the right one. Apprenticeships are offered by a wide variety of employers and you can find them advertised on the Government’s official ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ website (https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship). You can also find other apprenticeship programmes through other online websites, in local newspapers and through local colleges/training providers. (I went through Creative Process, who are based in Brighton, they specialise in Digital Apprenticeships.)
  • Make sure to not only read about what the job role offers but also what the course includes – it’s important that you’re happy with both aspects before you apply.
  • Research the company. This not only provides you with a clearer picture as to what your role could involve, but it also shows the employer that you’ve taken time out to do fundamental research.
  • Spend valuable time on your application. You want to stand out from the crowd and explain efficiently why you believe you’re the most suitable candidate for the role. The previous research you conducted will help with your application as it allows you to adapt your answers to apply to the specific qualities they would be looking for…

…and now you’re all ready to send your application off – Good luck!

I really hope I’ve provided some beneficial information as to why I strongly believe apprenticeships are a really great way in which young people can break into any industry. I hope you can take some of my advice on board and apply it to your own lives, however, please feel free to contact me should you have any queries in regards to anything I’ve said throughout this blog.

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