Apprenticeships: Callum's Apprenticeship Journey

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The best way to explain why apprenticeships are great for businesses and young people is through the eyes of someone who is doing one right now, and their line manager.

We chatted to Business Admin apprentice Callum Meyrick, who joined the Preference Service team as a Consumer Executive here at the DMA in March 2020, to find out what he had to say about his apprenticeship journey so far.

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship, and how did you end up at the DMA?

After finishing sixth form, I wanted to continue my education, but wanted to gather both experience and a form of income too. I attended various university open days, and even a summer school program designed to ease students into university life.

After weighing up my choices, thinking about the benefits of the different educational pathways available, I decided that an apprenticeship was best for me.

I found the DMA through the Government Apprenticeship page. It really enticed me as I have always wanted to work within central London in an office environment, and after doing some brief research into the company and what it had to offer, I knew that this would be a great place to start my professional working career.

Tell us a bit about the apprenticeship you are doing

I work in the Telephone Preference Service department (TPS) of the DMA. As part of the consumer team within TPS, myself and a few others are responsible for all consumer related tasks, including replying to incoming emails, dealing with complaints and taking phone calls.

Outside of the work aspect of the apprenticeship, I partake in various virtual meet ups with my study guide where we and few others dive into the world of business fundamentals. We learn about various business topics, applying the businesses we are working with to what we are learning. It is interesting to see these real-life examples in motion.

What do you enjoy about it?

I enjoy a lot about what I do. I feel my line of work is very interesting, and it is fascinating to see how everything works from the bespoke software our department uses to the chemistry and synergy our whole team has. I also enjoy the commute (when we were able to go to the office) and the routine of how everything flows. I get on with the team I work with really well too; I have not had any issues with anyone, and everyone has been more than kind and helpful.

Are there any challenges?

The restriction coronavirus has caused has been really challenging. It has made the training aspect difficult, as it’s all held virtually, which has its problems when you are trying to learn new processes and systems for the first time.

What do wish you had known before you started?

Which apprenticeship providers to invest time and energy into. I wasted a fair amount of time with a certain apprenticeship provider, where I was led on and completely ignored.

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

The thing I’m most proud of is achieving the apprenticeship and being the one selected for the role. I still remember the phone call now, when I was told I was going to be the one who was going to take up the apprenticeship. It was an amazing feeling after trying for a good few months to get one, and after spending my time here with the DMA, I know it was well worth the trouble.

I am also happy about how quickly I feel I have fitted into my role, how comfortable I feel with my work mates, and the current motivation I have for the rest of the journey.

Why do you think companies should employ more apprentices?

I believe that apprenticeships are becoming more and more popular as time goes on, and for good reason too. It allows hard working students to learn as they earn, gathering invaluable work experience and life skills that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

I believe apprentices are a mutually beneficial process for both the apprentice and the company.

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We also caught up with Callum’s line manager, Russell Roach, who is the Head of Preference Services, to find out what benefits hiring an apprentice has had for his team.

What do you feel employing an apprentice has brought to your team?

A fresh approach and positive attitude which has created a knock-on effect within the team.

How do you manage the 20% off the job training for Callum?

By being as flexible as possible. We discuss a time and day that suits best, and the training is completed away from his day to day working environment.

How has Callum developed in his role so far, and do you think it’s been worth investing in his development?

Callum is developing very well, especially with his interpersonal and problem-solving skills. It has definitely been worth it as you can see the progression in his development and the new dynamic he is bringing to the team.

What would you say to companies thinking about employing an apprentice?

Do it! An apprentice can aid productivity by taking on roles from members of the team. This allows the apprentice to learn and take responsibility, whilst freeing up the time of your more experienced staff, leading to better productivity for your business. Apprentices are eager to learn and when given the opportunity to develop, can bring new energy and innovative ideas to your business.

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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.

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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