National Apprenticeship Awards 2021

National Apprenticeship Awards 2021

The long-awaited National Apprenticeship award of 2021 has finally arrived and with it are nine categories available for apprentices, employers, and all “individuals who champion apprentices with passion”. The opening date for applications begins on Monday the 5th of July and ends on the 25th of July which means there is ample time to apply for yourself or on behalf of another. The apprenticeship awards are looking to reward excellence and hear inspirational stories and it is completely free to enter.

 

Apprentice of the Year

To enter the apprentice of the Year you must be currently undertaking the applicable apprenticeship or must have completed it within the past 12 months. There are three categories to the Apprentice of the Year award. The first being Intermediate Apprentice of the Year of which focuses on those working towards or have completed a level 2, the second being Advanced Apprentice of the Year which looks at those working towards or who have completed a level 3 in the past 12 months, and finally the Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year for those who are undertaking or have completed a level 4 or higher qualification. The judges for this award are looking for apprentices who can demonstrate the impact and achievement they have had in their workplace.

 

Rising Star of the Year

The Rising Star of the Year award looks at celebrating the apprentices that have made significant progress in their career to date and have a bright future ahead of them. For this award, you must be undertaking an apprenticeship at any level (or have completed one in the past 24 months) and need to be recommended by their employer. An employer can nominate more than one apprentice for the award.

 

Employer of the Year

Similarly, to the Apprentice of the year award, the Employer of the year has three categories for SME Employer of the Year (1-249 employees), Large Employer of the Year (250-4999 employees) and finally the Macro Employer of the Year (5000+ employees). This award is open to all types of employers that can showcase the success and contribution that apprenticeships have brought to their organisation. Judges for this award are looking for an organisation that can show they have delivered an excellent apprenticeship program that has benefited all parties. For this application, it is suggested to provide evidence “such as quotes from clients and apprentices, statistics, comparative data and quantifiable information.”

 

Apprenticeship Champion of the Year

The Apprenticeship Champion of the Year award goes to those who are exceptionally passionate about apprenticeships and those who “champion apprenticeships with enthusiasm”. Unlike some of the others, this award is open to all individuals however the initial nomination must come from a colleague of contact who recognises their credentials; the nominator will then have to write a reference explaining why they think that they deserve the reward. Judges are looking for someone who goes above and beyond to promote apprenticeships as a career choice and how it can boost the success of a business.

 

How do I find out more?

Everyone at Apprentify is here to help you. That includes putting yourself or a colleague forward for an award. We want our apprentices and employers to have our full support so make sure to get in contact if this is something you would be interested in.

Find out more

-Matt

OFSTED - New Provider Monitoring Visit

OFSTED - New Provider Monitoring Visit

On the 18th and 19th of March this year we were visited by Ofsted for the first time for our New Provider Monitoring Visit (NPMV). These visits generally happen within 2 years of delivering Government funded apprenticeship training to ensure that all apprenticeship providers are on track to receive either “Good” or “Outstanding” grades at full inspection. Being inspected is always nerve-wracking, but we had worked hard and prepared appropriately for the visit and were confident and excited to show the inspectors our journey so far. Over the two days, the OFSTED inspectors spoke to our apprentices, employers, and staff; acquiring a wider understanding of the business, our culture, the progress we are making and how we are growing.

Each New Provider Monitoring Visit is graded across three themes, in short, Leadership and Management, Quality of Education and Safeguarding. Inspectors judge training providers on their performance in these areas and what strategies they have in place to improve.

 

Meeting the requirements of a successful apprenticeship provider

In the first theme of our report, it states that “leaders have a clear rationale for the delivery of apprenticeship provision”, accepting our purpose and intent within the digital/marketing apprenticeship sector. It mentions our “new quality checks” that “monitor the progress of individual apprentices”, which is something we see as one of our key strengths. Our apprentices benefit from monthly coaching sessions and quarterly progress reviews with their development coach, who provides personalised feedback and guidance, alongside support from their workplace mentor.

“Ever since starting my apprenticeship, I have not stopped learning, be that through my lessons and eLearning activities and at work itself. It would be tough to list it all in honesty, but for each core learning objective, I've improved massively from where I began. My knowledge and awareness of the media industry as a whole has been blown wide open.” – Maisy Dinsdale – Purple Creative Studios

 

The progress leaders are making ensuring apprentices benefit from high-quality training

Moving onto the second theme, inspectors noted that all our apprentices have “individualised learning plans” to ensure everyone can “develop substantial new knowledge, skills and behaviours which they can use to make a positive contribution to their employers’ business”. Holly Hand (Digital Marketing Apprentice) said "I have recently just finished two out of three Google Analytics virtual classrooms led by Charles at Apprentify, in these, I have picked up a deep understanding of the platform which I can then apply to my work at Global Doors”. Another role of our hard-working Development Coaches is to give additional stretch and challenge tasks to those with prior knowledge and to tailor the training through our personalised Bud learning system; we also want to ensure that the employers play a part in developing the curriculum and provide training aligning to employers’ businesses and marketing strategies.

Alongside our BUD management system, we host virtual classrooms every week, remotely teaching our apprentices following our ambitious curriculum. Apprentices are given pre and post-learning activities to complete around these sessions. “I have made lots of progress and thoroughly understand the topic before moving on due to the learning style with the pre and post classroom learning making sure everything covered is reinforced” - Lily Downes – Global Doors.

Also discussed in this theme is the “effective support for apprentices with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).” As a training provider, we want to be able to provide equal opportunities for everyone which is why we identify apprentices needs early in the programme to provide support such as subtitles during lessons, and specialist spectacles for those with sight impairments. Lastly, for this section, it is noted that “Development Coaches provide helpful feedback to apprentices”; we want to ensure apprentices receive developmental feedback to enable them to improve their quality of work, whether that be creativity in marketing styles or simplistic aspects such as grammar and punctuation.

 

Ensuring that effective safeguarding arrangements are in place

Thirdly (and finally) the last area is how we are “ensuring that effective safeguarding arrangements are in place”. This is an aspect of Apprentify we hold dearly and “prioritise” significantly while ensuring our “designated safeguarding leads and deputy leads are appropriately qualified and trained” because our apprentices remain at the heart of Apprentify and therefore so does their safety. We also ensure that “all staff undergo the appropriate checks prior to contact with apprentices” to make sure the most suitable candidates are recruited, and our pupils can learn in a safe environment.

 

Thank you!

We would like to thank everyone involved – all apprentices, employers, and everyone at Apprentify – for their hard work and support during a positive and rewarding two days.

Mark Simpkins – Head of quality/OFSTED nominee ~ “We have been preparing for our New Provider Monitoring visit for some time now. We have worked extremely hard to get to where we are today, and this report reflects all the effort and commitment everyone has shown to work towards our ambitious goals. I would like to thank Ofsted and the HMI’s involved for what was a very developmental, fair, and professional visit. I’d also like to thank all my colleagues for the wonderful job they’re doing creating opportunities and educating our apprentices. And last but not least, our employers and apprentices for supporting and being the next generation of digital marketers and content producers.”

 

How do I find out more?

Read the whole report to find out more.

-Matt

My Second Month as a Junior Content Producer Apprentice at Apprentify

Month 2!

Where did this month go?

Early in the month I started working on my first project in my social media calendar for International Women’s Day. I asked if the Apprentify team could take pictures holding their hands up and/or wearing purple (the colour used to represent the day and movement). I originally planned to take a picture of everyone in the Monday team catch-up, but unfortunately, like all good plans it didn’t work out as not many people could make it. So, in came plan B and I spent most of the day getting pictures from colleagues which they’d taken when they had the free time. This actually worked out better, as making a collage of all the images was rather fun and I think the finished product looked much better than a screenshot of a Teams call would have. I guess you could say it was a happy accident.

Apprentify Annie is out and about more than me in lockdown, as she has been involved in the EPA (End Point Assessment) explainer videos and an Adobe Connect landing page.

It has been a little challenging to record her lines this month, as there has been a lot of noise in my house right now, with building work going on! It’s gone from my recordings being ruined by my brother shouting at video games, to loud drill noises from the building work. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to be a one cut wonder.

As I said, I’m getting rather sick of hearing my own voice as Apprentify Annie has become a staple in the videos I make. However I much prefer voicing Annie to animating words individually to music as the time to do this is ridiculous! It may be time for Annie to find a friend, any suggestions or volunteers are welcome.

Another new introduction is ApprentiFit, which is something that SallyAnn has launched to promote being healthier mentally and physically and to try to encourage everyone to get up occasionally. While working from home I think a lot of people often get submerged in their work and lose track of time. This project is much more SallyAnn’s than mine, but I was asked to make a logo/animation for the project. I ended up making a circular character that does star jumps and then transforms into the Apprentify logo. It was quite well received and the character I made is now the icon for the ApprentiFit chat which is cool.

In terms of my personal development, at the beginning of this month I had my first coaching call, it was nice to talk to Sharon (Development coach) about everything I had been struggling with/ enjoying throughout my first month. One of my main concerns was probably not feeling like I was getting the hang of things quick enough, Sharon reassured me that this would come with time, and I shouldn’t worry too much about it. I can gladly say that I am getting the hang of everything better now I’m over two months into my role.

After two days of online training, the other two girls on the junior content course and I decided to schedule a weekly call to talk about the project we needed to work on together. The project itself is about a brief for a theme park, trying to figure out budgets is rather difficult considering I’ve never really done anything like this before, but it’s great to have Zoe and Kaleigh to help me out and it’s nice to know we are all in the same boat.

This month Apprentify had a Development Day. It was my first time attending a companywide event and it was nice having a day to talk to everyone, although I didn’t do much talking, because of the background noise of the construction workers at my house. The day was great fun. Other than work related things, we also played a game of Rock & Roll bingo… I really should get more familiar with the “classics”!

On a personal note, my second month means my second pay cheque! It’s usually tabooed to talk about money, but since it’s my first proper job I decided to make my first indulgent purchase. I’m lucky enough to have all my wages as disposable income, so I spent a fair amount on a new vinyl to add to my collection. Having my own money to spend does make me feel quite independent.

Overall, I think this month has been a good second month and so far, I’m enjoying my apprenticeship a lot!

How do I find out more?

If, like me, you want to start your career in digital marketing through an apprenticeship then get in touch with the team through our Contact page.

-Julia

My first month as a Digital Marketing apprentice at Apprentify!

How I feel about my first month as a Digital Marketing apprentice at Apprentify

Hi, I’m Matt and I have successfully finished my first ever full month at Apprentify! I would love to be cliché and say how there has been a mix of up and downs, however in reality I can only think of positive things that have happened and in general, I have had a lot of fun (and I am not just saying that because my boss might read this... Hi Paul).

 

My opinion in the workplace

With being in lockdown and having next to nothing to do for over a year straight, I thought it would come as more of a shock having to be logged in to work at 9 am every day. However, surprisingly it came much more seamlessly than I had originally thought and I often found myself wide awake before that doing household tasks to keep myself occupied before I officially start.

Work-wise, most of my first month consisted of website design; the website required an update, and some more pages to be created to showcase our new technical apprenticeships. I really enjoyed working on the website and learning about online tools such as the word press add on "Oxygen" as well as the big data-related tools like google analytics. Altogether I made about 8 different pages for the website and I am happy to say that they have all gone live; despite struggling when I first started and the mass amount of confusion on how to work "oxygen", I think I got the hang of it pretty fast.

Perhaps the most complex thing that I took the initiative to undertake was creating a Snapchat filter I created for our Apprentify "graduates", in a fun little attempt at getting them to interact with our company one last time and potentially gain a post or two with our logo in. Furthermore, I have spent a lot of time posting on social media and finding new and creative ideas for potential posts; other than that I have been trying to figure out different applications such as Sprout Social and Google Analytics.

All of my work colleagues have been extremely welcoming and cheerful since day one and I was even greeted in the group chat by a lot of "welcome" related gifs which were very nice and calming; although working at home does mean a longer lie-in, I am excited to get into the office and meet the people I have been working with and talking to over the internet for the past month and eventually (hopefully) be able to shake their hands in the near future.

 

The Apprenticeship side

The apprenticeship side of everything has been just as good as the actual work-life itself. Despite being online I have managed to make some friends that I work with on the group projects, which makes the learning experience even smoother. The lessons in themselves can actually be a really nice break from the same working experience -while being at home- and gives a lot of interactivity with the teacher and classmates. Despite my original thoughts, these lessons can not even relate to anything like the high school or college experience and instead gives us pupils a relaxed and friendly atmosphere we feel safe to speak up in and learn.

So far my group and I have made 3 presentations and have actually displayed two of them in front of the whole class, despite my initial nerves we did really well in both and I am very happy with the experience and grade I have got in them. Throughout our sessions we have lots of well-deserved breaks and constant team activities which really break up the day and keeps us interacting with the sessions so we are not prone to zoning out.

Altogether I have loved my first month as a digital marketing apprentice and I am beyond happy that I have received this opportunity and I can not see where it is going to take me in the years to come.

 

How do I find out more?

If, like me, you want to start your career in digital marketing through an apprenticeship then get in touch with the team through our Contact page

-Matt

What’s it Like Working for a Classic Car Auction as a Marketing Apprentice?

What’s it Like Working for a Classic Car Auction as a Marketing Apprentice?

Have you wanted to be involved in marketing but also love classic cars? I’ve always been a petrol head and have previously worked as an engineer in the automotive manufacturing industry. It’s been interesting to adjust to a marketing role so here’s my impressions of the 1st month working at Manor Park Classics on an Apprentify apprenticeship.

 

What are your daily/weekly activities?

One of the first projects given to me was the management of each car’s ownership and history documents. These documents are not only crucial to the value of the car as they prove maintenance has been carried out but give a snapshot into the vehicle’s history too. Having put these documents into order and creating a summary sheet of what’s included, a good advert/ lot description that best markets the car can be made.

Other activities have included creating social media content of the cars arriving which shows their condition as well demonstrating that they run and drive without issue – an important factor when purchasing a classic car. I’ve been able to get quite creative with the content we’ve published such as asking our audience what car is their favourite or testing their knowledge with an Instagram story quiz made from cars in our inventory. We’ve found that this type of content has been great for engagement!

 

What have you learned since starting your apprenticeship?

The main thing for me has been is understanding how to think like a marketer. I’ve followed automotive social media and auctions for a long time so I had an appreciation of what kind of content I’ve enjoyed in the past but it’s different when you’re the one making it. I’ve found the direction given to me by my co-workers at Manor Park Classics, the courses by Apprentify and a Google Garage digital marketing course which completed prior to starting very helpful in pitching what I’ve created in the right way.

 

What are your colleagues like? What is the office environment like?

It’s been great to work with people who are as interested in cars as I am and I’ve enjoyed discovering things about classic cars that I didn’t know prior. They’re also very driven towards our first auction in April being a success and have always been happy to help me with projects I’ve been running as well as help me understand what the company’s goals are.

Having only worked for large multi-national companies before, this is the smallest team that I’ve worked for and which has actually been quite refreshing. Everyone at Manor Park Classics is very open and I’ve found the variety of work satisfying compared to the fixed role structure of larger companies.

 

Is your apprenticeship overall what you expected it to be

I’ve enjoyed the challenge so far and I can’t wait till our first auction. I was expecting the transition from engineering to marketing to be difficult but the support and training I’ve received has made it has been great so far.

- Joe Downing

First Month as a Junior Content Producer Apprentice at Apprentify!

My First Month as a Junior Content Producer Apprentice at Apprentify!

I can’t believe I’ve been a Junior content producer at Apprentify for a month now, whilst I feel like I haven’t fully settled in yet, I am starting to feel a lot more comfortable about where I fit in and what I’m doing. I’m also getting more used to working from home, but as someone who’s never really used Microsoft Teams before, I have found it rather challenging to reach out and establish relationships with everyone. I suppose if we were in office there’d be more chats than there is over Teams. I do rather like being at home, as it means if I don’t have any calls, I can just sit in my pyjamas doing work (the comfy factor is a plus). It also gives me space to be creative due to having all my own software at home. However, it does have some draw backs…… whilst I was doing voice recordings the other day, my younger brother started screaming at his video game, which was particularly frustrating as I was struggling not to get tongue tied reading the script I had written. (Note to self - next script - not as wordy and fewer S’s).

I’ve started a few projects this month. I’ve been into the office a couple of times and taken my filming equipment to record introduction videos for the development coaches, though the first time I did forget my SD card (Sorry Dale). I’ve also made some videos with an animated character (say hello to Apprentify Annie).

Apprentify Annie

In total I’ve made about 10 videos this month, some still need some further edits, and some have been completed and approved. Ten videos might not seem a lot, but the render time of these videos has been ridiculous sometimes, it’s really demonstrated that I should go into these projects with a clear idea of what needs to be included and some of the video specifics. Before joining Apprentify I would create videos for my Instagram, I was just editing clips of shows and characters I liked, and the creativity would just come to me naturally. Now I’m making videos for more practical purposes, so I really must think about how to make it more engaging - right now I’m thinking about how to make data look interesting! My boss Dale told me that campaign planning is up next in my online lessons, so I’m sure I’ll find this useful going forward.

I’ve started doing some of the social media plan ideas that I started in my first week, the first one being for International Women’s day. At Apprentify we have a team catch-up meeting on Monday, so I suggested in support of the day we should all wear purple, as it’s one of International Women’s Days colours. I did find myself writing my message in word before posting it to the Team Apprentify chat, just to make sure I didn’t embarrass myself by not making sense or (god forbid) a spelling mistake. I am also starting work on a project with Rebecca, (a development coach at Apprentify), on promoting health and fitness to apprentices. Rebecca had an idea of having a post each month to promote a different way an apprentice could improve their health (mentally and physically). Rebecca herself is an avid runner, so we thought it’d be good to do a post on running, maybe something about couch to 5k.

One of the great things about working for Apprentify, is I’m surrounded by development coaches and so every time I speak to any of them, they are super helpful and always make sure I know I can come to them for more help if I need it. This reassurance and support are exactly what I need as a young person in my first job. I think having that extra support has really helped me feel more comfortable doing the small things, for example just speaking while I’m in the office, on my first few times in the office I struggled talking, asking for help, etc, as it made me feel anxious. But now I do find myself talking in an office environment and on Teams even though I may not still be the best at speaking up, it’s nice to not be as anxious speaking and having a little more confidence in myself.

Something I have noticed to be more challenging from a non-work-related perspective is that there’s been a massive change to my work-life balance, especially considering before my apprenticeship I had much more free time on my hands to talk to my friends, most of them either still being in college or at university, so we now have quite different schedules. I find it strange that now we have to plan time to talk rather than just randomly calling one another.

In other news, I had my first coaching call with Sharon (Development Coach) and it was nice to tell someone what I had been struggling with (mainly time management) and she gave me some good tips in how I could manage my time better by using SMART targets. Getting along with my Bud work as well, I completed my Google Digital Garage. I was supposed to complete it over the course of my Apprenticeship, i.e., doing a few modules a month, but being eager and not a very attentive reader I mis-read the part about only needing to do the first few. So, I’ve completed the lot, oops!! Hopefully, this will save me sometime in future though! I still have a few tasks to complete like updating my LinkedIn with more about me, my experiences, and interests etc.

I have really enjoyed my first month at Apprentify and my first taste my working life (although I must admit I do miss my daily lie-ins massively). Working has given me more of a sense of purpose – as strange as that may sound, especially in the current COVID world we live in, and I’ve started enjoying my hobbies more again. Before, all I was doing was my hobbies, and I was starting to get some hobby burn out, if that’s even a thing. If you want to read more in depth on what I did in my first and second weeks make sure to check my other blogs!

How do I find out more?

If, like me, you want to start your career in digital marketing through an apprenticeship then get in touch with the team through our Contact page.

-Julia ?

My first week as a Digital Marketing apprentice at Apprentify!

My first thoughts about becoming an apprentice at Apprentify

Hi, I’m Matt and I have almost finished my first ever full working week, while also kickstarting my career in Digital Marketing; doing an apprenticeship at Apprentify!

Starting from the beginning, my mind was set into motion during the last few years of secondary school as to what career path and role I wanted to progress into in the future. It was not until I started studying at Aquinas College that I decided that perhaps I wanted to get into the digital media world; and instantly, the first thing I found was Digital Marketing and my intrigue was captured by this reasonably new, ever growing industry.

After having an early finish to college in May 2020, I immediately began looking for an apprenticeship in this desired field, despite my best efforts I often saw my self without luck, and either being told the position has been filled, or never hearing back at all. That was until I found a digital marketing apprenticeship job listing on google, this then led me to submit a swift application through Enrola.

It couldn't of been more than two weeks until I had heard back and was invited too a group assessment centre (all online of course). I was extremely nervous, however it was nothing like I expected and I was welcomed into a nice community that were just trying to figure out who I was, and what skills I possessed. I received numerous calls from Scott (who I can now gladly say I have met in person) until finally, he let me know about an opening working for the company that would be running the Apprenticeship! One 30 minute interview, and one short skill related task later, I was being offered a job!

 

MONDAY

So the day had finally arrived, after a hasty drive down to Wilmslow, I sat in my parked car taking deep breaths before deciding to go in. After finding the office I was greeted by a few friendly faces and offered a cup of tea (which obviously I am not going to turn down). After meeting Paul he began with all the introductions and started with my induction into the company and explained everything to me.

After the almost overload of information! I was given a laptop and shown a few educational videos that he recommended I should watch - of which made me lose track and time and forget I finished at 5 and not quarter past - and then the day was over and I had yet another quick drive home ready to tell my family all about what I had been up to now that I am no longer in the house 24/7.

 

TUESDAY

Tuesday, my second day of work was from home. It was not an unusual experience having been previously working from my room part-time. Communication came naturally, and I was constantly talking to team members and doing video chats with Paul and Dale.

The morning was taken in order to get me signed up to the apprenticeship and Dale took his time explaining everything too me, and answering any questions that I had (and there was so many). Then, in the afternoon I was finally assigned my first task to research similar websites to Apprentify and try and find things that could be improved. This got me more excited for coming into the office the next day since I knew I would have to use this knew knowledge to help improve the website.

 

WEDNESDAY

Wednesday, I was back in the office and after a close call with my alarms not going off in the morning I managed to make it on time. I was excited to spend the day working on a project and Paul explained to me how I go about creating new pages for the website and I pitched to him my new ideas and improvements that I thought we could make! It was a nice experience being able to speak to your boss so easily and be listened too.

To my delight Paul let me get on with the editing of the website and let my creativity run wild. Many pages later and quite a while spent trying to understand WordPress, the day had flown by and it was time to yet again get home.

 

THURSDAY

Thursday was an unusual yet amazing new experience for me. I spent the day having my very first training session with Kulwinder Kainth who is now not only my teacher/ trainer, but also my co-worker (which I am sure is going to be very helpful). The session took up the whole day but to my surprise it was really enjoyable and felt more like I was talking to my friends, however at the same time I learnt so much about marketing and the industry despite it only being my first session.

I had no idea what to expect in the training session and I merely presumed it would be 6 hours of listening to someone drone on, but Kulwinder made it very enjoyable with her personal touch and even got us to interact in team activities which was really fun. Towards the end of the day we were all informed of when our next learning session would be and that we were being assigned a group project, in spite of the confusion at first, the teacher was happy to further explain the task in private after the session had finished, and my friendly team and I made a Whatsapp group to improve our organisation for the week to come.

 

FRIDAY

The last day of the working week is always the hardest! After struggling out of the confines of my bed I logged onto my laptop and was issued my first writing task (which you are reading right now). As well as that I was asked to think and plan what else we could do on our social medias, as well as talk to some of the other coaches and team members - so I guess its time to use some of them social skills I talked about in my interview -

With the week being almost over, I have really enjoyed my time at Apprentify so far, and I can not wait to see what the upcoming weeks hold for me.

 

How do I find out more?

If, like me, you want to start your career in digital marketing through an apprenticeship then get in touch with the team through our Contact page

-Matt

My Second Week as a Junior Content Producer at Apprentify!

Monday

Week 2 as an Apprentice at Apprentify! Today, I went into the office to talk to Dale about what I’d be doing working from home for the rest of the week. Some of the tasks included messaging a few co-workers about their apprentices and employers that I could potentially make videos about Apprentify and their experiences. I’m excited for this task as I can be creative with the videos and it also reminded me of a project I did at college.

After getting the information I needed for the tasks this week, I started on some of my Bud (training management platform) activities. I finished one and started on another about safeguarding.

I also listened in to a call with SallyAnn (Head of Commercial), where she was talking to a prospect about the apprenticeships Apprentify offers. This sit in was really valuable to me as it enabled me to get more of an insight into the real value of Apprentify.

 

Tuesday

Tuesday started a lot more peacefully, as I got an extra hour lie in due to me working from home, hooray! I started my day by going back to the Digital Marketer informational video I made last week, to tweak a few things, plus I added some more information suggested by my Line Manager Dale.

I let the changes render and then started on writing my first post for Apprentify on LinkedIn. I was a little nervous as anyone is about doing something for the first time, but the task didn’t take me too long, so I moved on to emailing Apprentices and Employers about potentially making testimonial videos with us. I had a lot of help from SallyAnn in messaging the employers, as she introduced me to them and told me a little bit about them in a Teams call. I now know how I’m expected to talk to customers and have some background knowledge on the people and their companies.

Also, today I had a get together with Paul (MD) to discuss the brief/style of the videos I’d been working on. This was extremely useful (I’ve got to say that as he’s the MD) as it gave me some more ideas around the style he wants for our videos. However, it did mean that it was back to the drawing board for me on this project.

 

Wednesday

Starting off today I was set a task by SallyAnn, to create a brochure for the Data Technician and Data Analyst Programs. I was given all the wording by SallyAnn, so I basically just had to make it look pretty.

I started by looking through of some of our other corporate brochures and used them as a guide, so this one would fit in with the others. It was useful to have them available, just to give me a rough idea of how the layout should be, etc. I tried to make it as interesting as I could, by adding pictures and making the text look appealing with formatting. Being someone who is very much into the creative side of things, it was interesting to work with different formatting and layout ideas.

SallyAnn suggested adding some images to break up the text, which I did by adding various logos of the different software used in the apprenticeships, but overall, it is an informational piece of literature and so lots of text is required. I did enjoy making the brochure, especially working with Apprentify’s brand, I really struggled using Microsoft PowerPoint, as I have very limited experience using it, I basically played with it for a few hours at high school, but I certainly know more about it now.

I had a call with Dale at the end of day, as he’s on holiday for his birthday tomorrow and Friday to make it long weekend. He set some Bud work I could get on with if I had any downtime alongside the tasks which had been mentioned on Monday. It looks like I’ll  be busy the whole two days though, so I will have to schedule it in sometime next week.

 

Thursday

Today started with a quick call with a colleague Emily about the additional learning support that Apprentify offers. I want to make a short video explaining what it is and to make people aware that we do offer extra support!

Straight after I had a call with SallyAnn about updates to the Brochure. I’m learning to love the vibrant orange colour scheme (I’m more of a pink person), my deadline for finishing it being 12pm. Shortly after this, I had to brand up some more PowerPoint slides in Apprentify colours for the NEW Data Analyst Apprenticeship.

Looking forward to getting my head down and stuck into the remake of the two videos on the Digital Marketing and Junior Content Producer Apprenticeship’s tomorrow. I also need to start getting more familiar with all communication systems; Teams, Outlook and diary planning/appointments - as they are all new to me.

 

Friday

Yay, finally Friday! Lie in tomorrow! Who doesn’t love a lie in? Today started with a chat with Paul about adding some more links to the brochure. Soon after that was a Teams catch-up meeting, in which I was praised for my hard work on the brochure which is always nice to hear. After the meeting I added the links Paul wanted then got to work on completing another safeguarding course.

After planning for a little while I started on creating the videos for the Digital Marketer and Junior Content Producer, hopefully second time lucky. I now have a clearer view of what sort of information should be conveyed in these videos, plus what sort of animations I should use, animating every word is going to be quite time consuming, but I think I’ll enjoy it as editing is my passion.

So that’s me signing off for my 2nd week at Apprentify. It has gone really quickly, and I’ve learned so much in such a short period of time.

 

How do I find out more?

If, like me, you want to start your career in digital marketing through an apprenticeship then get in touch with the team through our Contact page

-Julia ?

My first week as a Junior Content Producer apprentice at Apprentify!

My new role as an apprentice at Apprentify

Hi, I’m Julia and this week I’m starting at Apprentify as a Junior Content Producer Apprentice!

From a young age I have had a major passion for content creation. Having an Instagram and YouTube, making videos as a hobby, I decided I wanted to turn my hobby into a potential career path.

Around the start of my second year of A-levels I realised I had no official plan, the main reason being I was not sure what I wanted to do. Most people were putting in their university applications and I was convinced university was the only way I could further my education, but after doing some research about my options I decided an apprenticeship, specifically a Junior Content Producer role, was the way for me to go. I wanted an apprenticeship as experience is valued highly, and with an apprenticeship I could further my learning and get the experience at the same time.

I found Apprentify through the Government apprenticeship site. I was looking for apprenticeships that suited me and Apprentify offered The Digital Marketer and Junior Content Producer Programs. When I found out Apprentify wanted to interview me, Scott rang me and talked me through how the interview would take place. I was quite nervous the video interview, but Paul and Dale told me all about Apprentify and asked me questions about things I knew about so it made me feel more relaxed, although I probably still came across as quite quiet. So, I was delighted when they asked me to a task to demonstrate my skills. The following week I got a call from Scott, telling me they would like to offer me the role and my search for a job was over (yay!).

 

MONDAY

Starting Monday was quite an exciting yet nerve-wracking experience for me, considering it would be my first proper 9-5 job! Even though it is different to start work in the current “COVID” situation, I have not known anything different, so I do not have a comparison.

When first arriving at the office I was nervous about meeting everyone and what I would be doing for the next 8 hours, but as soon as I walked in, I was greeted by 5 friendly faces who were in the office today. Paul who is the managing director did my introduction and talked all about Apprentify. Initially, I felt like I was not doing enough, as my company laptop had not arrived yet. But soon I was given some tasks that I could start getting my teeth into over the next few days.

 

TUESDAY

Tuesday, I got my laptop and could start working on some of our projects. I started by setting up the laptop and saying hello to co-workers over Microsoft Teams, and continued by getting a grasp on the basics of HubSpot, working through some of the online courses. Today I was also introduced to an online video creation software Viddyoze, enabling me to start making some intro-style videos around Apprentify’s branding, using the company colours, fonts, etc. Which might be used for future YouTube/informational videos.

It was quite interesting to use a different software application other than Adobe After Effects, especially as these videos were pre-made. However, I found it quite straightforward to understand and was soon enjoying creating various videos. I later showed it to everyone in the office and they all loved them, and were coming up with different scenarios we could use them in.

 

WEDNESDAY

Wednesday, I started by joining a team catch-up meeting and seeing more faces of my co-workers. I was rather nervous in this call, as I did not really know what to say as I have only just started, but it was great seeing everyone, they were all very friendly and made me feel welcome!

After the catch-up meeting, I was updated on what my role for the business looked like. Some of these things included creating introduction videos for development coaches and updating the resources on some of the lessons, to try to make them more interactive and cleaner cut. This was exciting news for me, as I would be able to put my skills on After Effects to the test, and start being creative with my ideas. I also delved into Google Analytics and started learning about how I could potentially bring more new people to Apprentify to help boost the performance of our website.

 

THURSDAY

I had my first day working from home today, which was nice as I could basically just roll out of bed and start work, although I did sometimes find it a little more difficult to concentrate as there were some interruptions throughout the day from my family but a few welcomed interruptions from my dog Teddy(!). I had a call with Sharon (Development Coach) to setup my Bud account and officially start my apprenticeship course. Then I started working on the social media calendar ideas, I began by doing research on the different National days which Apprentify could post about. I wanted to find some that would be quite light-hearted, or just celebrating an occasion, but also some that were more pressing matters, for example mental health, the environment, etc. Researching National days was quite fun as I found some that I didn’t know existed, there’s a whole day dedicated to tea!

Exploring Excel was something new to me as I had never really used it before, still some way to go though! I also updated my LinkedIn bio; I have got three followers now woohoo! To end the day, I chatted with a few more colleagues and I have been set some new projects, one of which I am starting on tomorrow.

 

FRIDAY

My day started with another casual team catch-up meeting, talking about lumbar support, bald heads and pets. Meeting Smirnoff the hamster, which led to a series of pet sharing pics over the Apprentify chat. I then started working on my first official video on After Effects, introducing and explaining the Digital Marketing course. I’ve now finished it and I’m not 100% happy with it but I’m hoping Dale can give me some advice in our call later how to make it more engaging, and of course finished writing my first blog!

My first week started slowly but I can’t believe it’s Friday already and I’ve already got things to do next week. So, I’m beginning to feel a part of the team. Next week I’m hoping to make more progress with my tasks on Bud.

 

How do I find out more?

If, like me, you want to start your career in digital marketing through an apprenticeship then get in touch with the team through our Contact page

-Julia

How to deliver online apprenticeship training during the coronavirus pandemic

Delivering online apprenticeship training

The coronavirus pandemic has had a transformative effect on the global economy, regardless of what industry or trade you work in - apprenticeships and training providers are no different. Almost every single business has had to fundamentally reconsider the way they go about work whether that be through physical measures implemented to enforce social distancing, wearing PPE in the workplace or simply through working from home (in our case, delivering online apprenticeship training). Some businesses lend well to this transformation where others unfortunately don't (just look at the impact upon the hospitality sector).

At Apprentify, the past 3 months could have been much worse. As a small business we were probably more likely to fold under these stressful times. I'd be lying if I said it hadn't crossed my mind! However, as the weeks have gone on I've come to really appreciate the model of work we've employed since day one and - whilst not immune to coronavirus - how thick skinned we have been to it's impact due to reacting quickly to the situation.

As part of our Curriculum team, our first consideration when the lockdown hit was how to adapt our training to suit "the new normal". Turns out, we didn't have to make wholesale changes where others did. We've been delivering online apprenticeship training and remote classrooms since day one which helped no end. We have however learned along the way some critical lessons to take our remote training from a good place to an even better one.

Here are my top tips for how to deliver online apprenticeship training in the (now saturated) online training market throughout the next few weeks and months.

Online apprenticeship training - 4 Top Tips

#1 Be empathetic to your learners

If you're reading this, chances are you work in the apprenticeship sector or are delivering online apprenticeship training. That means you almost certainly have learners who've been either made redundant or they've been furloughed. Furlough has been a testing time for all those affected - sometimes free time is too much (who'd have thunk it!) - if you're fortunate enough to have work as a distraction from the world as it is, have you ever sat back and truly considered what impact furlough has had upon your apprentices? Yes, they can continue their learning but that in itself isn't the carrot at the end of the stick that you think. Make sure your teams or delivery staff are regularly contacting your learners - and not always to chase them for overdue work! The impact upon our mental health and wellbeing will be the source of studies for years to come, so make sure you're doing your part to adapt your delivery model and style.

#2 Alter your delivery to what they need now

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" is one of my favourite sayings. Adapted from a Robert Burns poem (not taken from the John Steinbeck novel of GCSE English fame), it highlights how even our best plans and intentions can often be rendered totally redundant. In our lifetimes, we've never been privy to something quite as "awry" as the impact of coronavirus. Your scheme of work - important as it is - can be flexible for the needs of your learner. You might have a masterclass session on SEO coming up, but is that what the learner needs right now? Are they in crisis management mode and need some support on maximising efficiency dealing with customer enquiries? Are they covering for the work of others who have been furloughed or made redundant?

Revisit your apprenticeship standard and don't be afraid to rethink your lesson plans. The impact you have now will never be forgotten - by employer or apprentice.

#3 Develop resilience through setting standards

I appreciate the irony in writing this in a pair of tracksuit bottoms (and a polo shirt, just incase someone calls me on Microsoft Teams!) but right now it's easy for your apprentices to let themselves go. That could be by forgetting to upload evidence to their ePortfolio, but perhaps it could be something more damaging. Keep their standards high by setting your standards high.

#4 Make your training more memorable than before

This isn't a time for stubborn pride. Right now, your training needs to have even more impact than it did 3 months ago. For those still in work, the phrase "time is money" has never been more real. For those furloughed, your training sessions might be the only human contact they have all day. You just don't know the impact those few hours with you and with their peers might have.

My advice is to really nail down your understanding of what learners need beforehand. Understanding their starting point, what their skills gaps are and gathering data from your delivery staff and apprentice line managers - reach out for quantitative and qualitative feedback and data to shape your courses and training. Have you something free you can offer them to add value?

Make your delivery count!

Right now, everyone needs ROI from their training more than ever. For trainers and apprenticeship providers this gives us a unique opportunity to add value to companies - adapting your delivery for online systems and platforms, whilst challenging, could well position you as the trainer they come back to once the world has returned to something like normal.