It’s National Apprenticeship Week! Taking place from 5-11th February 2024, it brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy – and we’ve got first-hand experience at Trident Marketing.
The annual week-long celebration, now in its 17th year, will showcase and celebrate apprenticeship employers, training providers, assessment organisations, apprentices, parents, schools, colleges and universities. Together, we can promote the benefits of apprenticeships, showcasing the progression opportunities, exciting new occupational standards, and lots more.
We caught up with Jude Manning-Smith – our Digital Marketing Apprentice – to discuss his thoughts on apprenticeships this National Apprenticeship Week.
What positive impact has it had on you?
It has assisted me in bringing some routine and organisation into my interests in social media, website development and everything else digital. Before, my skills were being put to use on projects of my own, but with no one really steering me between what’s useful and not useful.
I would say having people like my line manager Mackenzie – who is very experienced in the field and is an excellent person to learn from – is invaluable. Overall, the impact on my life since starting last January has been extremely insightful. I’ve found myself astounded at little tips and tricks multiple times during the past year.
The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2024 is ‘Skills for Life’. What skills have you learned that will help you throughout your life?
Curiosity! This is my first professional experience with social media marketing and online advertising, so a lot of questions were unanswered before starting the apprenticeship. Being able to ask questions and being curious enough to think of them is definitely a deciding factor of how much I will learn when taking part in anything I do.
Can you briefly describe what you do in your role?
So day to day, the digital marketing team will run clients’ social media, enhancing their profiles by joining community pages, finding potential customers for their business, and also fulfilling basic tasks like uploading posts, responding to DMs and replying to engagement on posts. I also help out with SEO on clients’ websites, and our own, and update news articles too.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
Seeing results pay off when I know me and the team have put a lot of hard work into something – whether it be a social post, campaign, or just a one-off task.
How do you find juggling your college work alongside the role?
A large majority of my course is just reporting on what I complete at work, while ticking the necessary boxes in campaigns we do. So I don’t have to go out of my way too much to complete my Level 3 course. Apart from the odd examination on certain areas of the course, the only real times I stop doing what I’m doing is for the 20% of the job where I research how to use certain applications or look into what could be in the pipeline for future trends or things coming up. The job is my course.
What made you apply for an apprenticeship at Trident Marketing?
I’d been looking for an apprenticeship in Digital Marketing that was a Level 3 course for about two months prior to seeing Trident Marketing list the role. I wasn’t having any luck finding companies trying to hire a digital marketing apprentice. I knew that was what I wanted to do, as I had a lot of experience with my own social media, plus running accounts for friends and their businesses in the past.
But it did surprise me when I saw the lack of offers for Digital Marketing Apprentices, when a lot of these companies didn’t have anyone doing social media in the office. While I do feel more old-fashioned businesses are starting to come around to the idea of paying people to post social media content and run websites, I believe a lot of businesses are still in denial – but there’s no doubt this should be what EVERYONE is doing right now!
For anyone who’s looking for work this National Apprenticeship Week, my advice is to not give up – the right role is out there.
How did you find the application and interview process?
The application was online and was very simple due to me being able to just drag and drop my CV. I then got asked to come in for an interview, which went as well as I could have hoped. I received a call just before Christmas 2022, asking if I wanted to start in the new year.
The whole process was very simple. I felt like I had just won the impossible claw machine they have at the beach arcades when I got offered the role!
Why do you think apprenticeships are important?
I believe apprenticeships are 100% the way forward in education, especially when people, like me, learn so much more on the job, rather than in a classroom. Being able to do this and with people that either do the role, or at the very least know about the industry, is amazing! Apprenticeships are so important for people leaving high school or college, especially as the mind is like a sponge during this time.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Jude!