This week RedEye is joining in to celebrate ‘National Apprenticeship Week’ to help promote the success that apprentices can bring to employers, as well as the value individuals can get through taking up apprentice schemes.
The theme for this year is ‘build the future’ reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, but also the benefit for businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills.
At RedEye we are passionate to help people become the talents we know they can be, and that’s why we see Apprentices and Apprentice schemes being a great way to help with that development. Since 2016 we have hired over 25 apprentices into roles right across the business.
From product and tech-based roles getting involved in coding our product making sure it’s the best in the marketplace, right through to client facing teams supporting their multichannel campaigns.
As well we’ve helped many employees upskill and develop their digital marketing through flexible schemes alongside their day-to-day responsibilities.
Our apprenticeship schemes look to help address the skills shortages in tech and digital over the long-term. We tend to find that apprentices outperform university graduates in terms of their mature work ethic, and their ability to come up with fresh ideas and add value quickly.
To help with celebrating the successes of Apprentices, we wanted to spotlight four ways that RedEye gets impressive value from being dedicated to apprentices:
1. Providing valuable opportunities to build your career
Isaac Dawson-Boyce started his journey with RedEye as an apprentice back in 2017, but quickly flourished and now has a permanent role as Senior Application Support Programmer, managing a small team.
Briefly explain how the apprenticeship scheme helped you reach where you are today
The apprenticeship scheme was a huge, if not the biggest contributor to reaching where I am today. It helped me achieve things that I never thought I’d be able to with the level of experience I had at the time.
The ability to learn on the job, as well as attending training regularly helped build up my knowledge and skills to a point where I was able to carry out my regular duties whilst also constantly improving.
What skills and experiences did you learn during your apprenticeship that have been invaluable to your career so far?
There were many different Technical & Social skills that I was introduced to during my time as an apprentice, ranging from coding languages widely used across the technical departments to presentation skills.
To this day I would say I have never stopped developing any of them. Having the ability to learn & develop these skills as an apprentice was the cornerstone of my career and created a clear path for the future.
What feedback would you give to anyone who is considering apprenticeships at the moment?
My feedback would be, just do it! I knew that an apprenticeship would be the best way forward as I like to get stuck in and learn things on the job, and of course a major benefit is that you get paid to learn!
I am very proud of the things I have managed to achieve in my career, both as an apprentice and thereafter. I have not once looked back at the decision to sign up to be an apprentice as it has been nothing but beneficial since day one.
2. Building a valuable talent pipeline
Our Software Engineering Director, Adam Davis, has been maximising the ability to mould apprentices into the talent needed today and has been hiring apprentices into his team since 2016.
Briefly explain how apprenticeships are adding value to your team today?
Apprenticeships are great for RedEye, they bring new talent into the business and because everything is new, they’re full of enthusiasm and eager to learn. As their experience grows, we find that apprentices bring a fresh perspective and innovative ideas as they’re not bound by what they know before.
Their passion for learning means they generally ask more questions, exposing things that can often be overlooked.
How do you see apprenticeships schemes helping to mould the talent that we need today?
Apprenticeships are a great mechanism that helps both the company and the Apprentice, they help bridge skills gaps and allow a safe learning space and environment for the apprentice giving them more hands on experience than a full time Uni degree could ever offer.
At the end of an apprenticeship, you’re not getting someone fresh out of Uni, you’re getting someone with all the experience needed to be fully up to speed and who is already contributing to the team.
What feedback would you give to other businesses considering apprentices within their teams or business overall?
It’s very worthwhile and benefits everyone involved. You can mould apprentices to be suited to the way your business works. All the questions they raise helps level up and expose holes you may not have been aware of.
With a degree apprenticeship, you also have a little security in that it’s a 4-year course, increasing retention and retaining that knowledge for longer instead of hiring an entry level role and risking them leaving after a short period.
3. Management development opportunities
Vicki Lennon joined our Client Services team in 2019 and quickly showed her potential in the role, completing our Aspiring Managers programme in 2020, gaining an ILM accredited qualification.
Vicki has since been offered the opportunity to manage one of our new Client Services apprentices, providing her with valuable people management experience, supporting her career development.
Briefly explain the opportunity you’ve been given to manage an apprentice
Managing an apprentice is a very exciting opportunity for me to able to start my career in management and share my knowledge built here at RedEye, whilst also supporting and mentoring an apprentice at the start of their career at RedEye.
What management skills do you think help develop apprentices?
The main management skills I think that develop apprentices are organisation, communication & listening skills and team working.
What feedback would you give to other managers to get the best out of their apprentices?
Encourage apprentices to get to know their colleagues through training sessions and fun activities in team meetings. Reassure apprentices that learning will take time and not to be afraid to ask questions (no question is a silly question).
Having regular catch ups to create a positive and approachable relationship so apprentices feel comfortable and the work place doesn’t feel too daunting for them.
4. Opportunities to upskill to further your career
Laura Crowe, Account Director saw the value in developing her digital marketing skills through an apprenticeship, alongside her day to day responsibilities.
Briefly explain what your current degree apprenticeship is helping you achieve in relation to your Career Development Plan?
The Digital Marketing Degree Apprenticeship is giving me a broader knowledge of digital marketing, teaching me skills that I wouldn’t have been exposed to in my current role.
It’s also taught me what areas of Digital Marketing I enjoy the most and where my strength and weaknesses lie, which is key for future career development.
What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship scheme to upskill alongside your current job?
It’s really exciting being able to apply things I’ve learnt from the course when making recommendations to clients. We’ve had some great feedback and results from some of the recommendations
I’ve shared based on theory, models and frameworks that I’ve picked up from the course.
What feedback would you give to anyone considering enhancing their skills through an apprenticeship scheme?
Consider the end goal on why you want to do the apprenticeship and make sure it’s a topic that you are passionate about.
It is a huge commitment so ensure that you have the support around you to ensure you stay on track.
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