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Its National Apprenticeship Week

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Apprenticeships are fast becoming a way for young people to take their qualifications whilst working. Many young people are actively choosing not to go to university for a variety of different reasons and apprenticeships are providing a great alternative with a job from the word go, and the ability to learn both on the job and through additional training courses. DMA have signed up to be an Intermediary for the Department for Education to channel information to our members about Apprenticeships and new initiatives such as T Levels and Traineeships so you will see more articles on the website about these topics in the coming months. We have identified 10 apprenticeships that align to jobs in our sector.

The best way to explain why apprenticeships are great for businesses and young marketers is through the eyes of someone doing it now. So, we caught up with Amy Keen who is a client services apprentice with Rapp in London and asked her some questions about her journey to be an apprentice.

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Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship and how did you end up at RAPP/CODE?

I chose to do an apprenticeship because I didn’t want to go to university. I was unsure exactly what I wanted to do but I didn’t want to go to uni for the sake of it/I didn’t know what course I would take if I did go. Both of my older sisters completed apprenticeships and have done very well for themselves. I also liked the idea of learning on the job, having an income and not having any debt from uni.

I knew that I wanted to work in a creative industry which is why I chose advertising and after looking into client services it seemed like an ideal role for me.

I applied for my apprenticeship on Indeed by submitting my CV and cover letter, sent a couple of questions asking why I wanted to work for RAPP and why I wanted to pursue a client services role and then attended an assessment day. I was successful on the day and started work a week later.

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Tell us a bit about the apprenticeship you’re doing

I am the Client Services apprentice and I am completing the L3 Advertising and Media Executive apprenticeship programme with Arch. Most of my apprenticeship is on the job learning but I also attend webinars, go to talks and complete online courses. For the first 3 months of my apprenticeship I focused on completing my IPA foundation certificate- an online course with a written exam. I am currently building a portfolio and at the end of my apprenticeship I have a final assessment which involves an interview, presentation and an assessor following me around for the day. I also feel the apprenticeship has given me great core work skills as well.

Day to day I attend meetings, shadow colleagues, create presentations and generally help the client services team wherever I can.

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What do you enjoy about it and what are the main challenges?

I enjoy seeing the development of a project, seeing a brief turned into the finished product.

What I love most about my role is the people that I work with. Everyone is so nice, friendly and helpful. It is such a fun environment to be in.

I also enjoy learning all about the industry, how agencies work with clients, how to manage relationships, how to behave in professional environments etc.

My main challenge is not having the same level of knowledge as the rest of the team but also understanding that over time I will learn more and eventually be able to get fully involved in all aspects of the role.

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What do wish you had known before you started?

Ask as many questions as possible because the more you know the more you can help out and develop in your role.

Go to all meeting that you are allowed in, if you’re not invited ask to join.

Don’t be scared to ask questions because everyone is so helpful and everyone understands that you are there to learn.

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What do you feel most proud of so far, on your apprenticeship journey?

Thinking about where I was when I started and where I am now, I have come a long way- so my overall journey in general

Passing my IPA exam with credit (I’ve been told this is impressive as I had no previous agency experience)

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Why do you think companies should employ more apprentices in marketing?

It’s a great opportunity to get different people into your company that want to start their career and grow with you.

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A word from Amy’s employer Rapp?

Claire Rogerson is Senior Talent Development Partner at Rapp.

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What do you feel apprentices have brought to Rapp?

Bringing apprentices into RAPP has helped open people’s minds to the value of looking outside the usual channels for talent. Of course, applications from graduates will always be welcome, but a degree isn’t the be-all and end-all. Through our apprenticeship scheme we’ve taken on school leavers, ex-students who found uni wasn’t for them, mature applicants looking for a career change, and through a partnership with Centrepoint, our ‘RAPP Ready’ programme has helped support a young person out of homelessness and into full time work. We’re also reaching people from backgrounds that are typically under-represented in our industry. At the same time, there’s a sense of excitement at the new perspectives our apprentices bring, challenging us to think - and work – differently. They’ve brought an injection of fresh enthusiasm and energy to the teams they’ve joined. And an unexpected but welcome outcome has been a collective sense of responsibility for their development and pride in their success.

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Do you have any advice for people considering taking apprentices on?

Take the recruitment process seriously. The apprentice does. Be rigorous and maintain your high standards. Make sure managers are ready and willing to give the support that’s needed, and don’t underestimate the importance of the manager on the apprentice’s journey. They need to understand the Standard and take responsibility for ensuring their apprentice gets the opportunity to learn and demonstrate all of knowledge, skills and behaviours they’ll be measured against.

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The DMA are currently conducting research to understand how apprenticeships are working for members, if you would like to contribute to this please contact kate.burnett@dma.org.uk.

For a guide on how to get started with apprenticeships go to the Apprenticeship website.

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