Apprenticeships: Anais' Apprenticeship Journey

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Apprenticeships should be an important part of the talent strategy for the data and marketing industry, driven by the boardroom so they become embedded into the DNA of a business. They offer the opportunity for people to start their career, supported by training on a recognised scheme. Delivered in the right way, they can create a skilled and committed workforce.

The best way to explain why apprenticeships are great for businesses and young marketers is through the eyes of someone who has just completed one. So, here’s what Anais Valoris, who has just completed a Data Analyst apprenticeship at Merkle, had to say about her apprenticeship journey.

I couldn’t be happier with my decision to do an apprenticeship.

One of my biggest challenges in sixth form was deciding what I wanted to do after I finished my A levels. At my school, like so many others across the country, we were strongly encouraged to go to university, but I knew this route wasn't for me. Thinking back, I didn’t get as much support or information as I'd have liked when investigating other routes to a future career.

After doing my own research, I really felt like becoming an apprentice would be the best of both worlds, and that I'd gain valuable real-world work experience while immediately putting new skills to use. These expectations have been well and truly met and exceeded.

My experience as an apprentice was remarkable. Coming into my first office job was terrifying as I didn’t know how to write an email, hardly used Excel and wasn’t sure if I had to ask to go to the toilet or not. It was difficult. My managers and team were of amazing support along the way. They taught me so much and gave me all the support I needed.

The number one piece of advice I’d give to a young person considering an apprenticeship would be to not be scared of taking that leap. What's amazing with apprenticeships is that you learn your likes and dislikes in the career you’re planning to get into, which is really beneficial to know before committing to doing a degree. Many students don’t know what they want to do after school, and end up choosing a degree that they hate or will never use in the future. In addition, there's nothing to lose as everything is paid for - no need to pay for the qualification, work experience is gained, and a salary is earned.

Towards the tail end of my apprenticeship, I was entrusted with more responsibilities in my job role, including client relations and managing my own projects, which helped me to build up competence and fully utilise my skillset.

The combination of the training programme I undertook and my job role enabled a seamless transition from being an apprentice to a full time employee.

Now that I've come to the end of my apprenticeship journey, I am increasingly passionate about apprenticeships and helping other students to pursue alternative career paths. I hope that hearing how I've started a successful career while staying debt-free will convince both students and parents alike that university isn't the only way forward!

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We also spoke to Anais’ employer, to find out what benefits hiring apprentices has for their business.

Scott Sallée, Social Impact & Sustainability Manager at dentsu international

As a creative communications business, we need diverse perspectives to create what I call “positive friction” that challenges norms, sparks innovation, ideation, and solutions for our clients. Dimension, diversity, breadth of point of view, experience, and life journey is what we need. Apprentices bring a breadth of experience, fresh perspectives, and new ideas – and they’re constantly growing and learning due to the ongoing training, exposure, and coaching.

To be honest, we should all structure our weeks like that of an Apprentice, with time reserved for upskilling, collaborating with other teams, taking on new projects, and personal growth. Can you imagine what our workforce and our company would achieve and how good we’d all feel at the end of the week?!

If you treat your Apprentices as ‘just’ an Apprentice, that is the role they will grow to fill. If you treat them like future leaders: empowering them, giving them visibility, and access to resources, there are no limits to what they can achieve.

One of the most rewarding stories I recall was the line manager of an Apprentice sharing that a client had re-signed based on work that their Apprentice had completed. It completely shifted their perspective on the value that Apprentices can bring to the team.

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To discover what’s limiting apprenticeship uptake in the data and marketing industry, as well as the opportunities they provide to an organisation, take a look at our Apprenticeships: The Hidden Potential Report, supported by DM Trust, which we released on Monday.

We’ve also just partnered with training provider The JGA Group, to deliver apprenticeships that reflect the needs of DMA Members. Find out more about the partnership and JGA here.

If you have any questions about apprenticeships, please get in touch, here.

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