Is A Digital Marketing Apprentice The Answer For Your Fire & Security Business?
by Jo Shaer, on March 25, 2018
Most Fire & Security directors are becoming aware that there are lots of Government incentives to promote hiring a Digital Marketing Apprentice.
The apprenticeship levy on larger enterprises means that smaller companies don’t have to pay the full (or indeed any of the) cost of apprentice tuition.
There are also additional monetary incentives to take on younger people and those from less advantaged areas.
The lower than minimum wage for apprentices is, of course, very affordable.
It looks like a very attractive option, but it’s not always as simple as it seems.
Can an apprentice get started straightaway?
Just because your new apprentice is on Facebook a lot, it doesn’t mean the Digital Marketing skills required to promote your business are in place.
Worse, most apprentices are barely out of school and have a lot of life learning to do.
With no experience of the workplace, your new digital marketing apprentice can get even the most obvious things wrong … “What's a stamp?” … “How do I wash-up?”
The good news is, your apprenticeship provider will be teaching the apprentices the basics of digital marketing...
Is it cost -effective to hire an apprentice for your digital marketing?
The first year is cheap as chips but minimum wage for the age group does kick in after that. There may also be additional payments available for taking on a young person in a particular age group or demographic.
How productive is a digital marketing apprentice hire?
The issues with time are twofold, related to the course and then the needs of the apprentice.
The constraints of the course itself mean your apprentice will not be with you all the time. They have to attend the Apprentice Training Centre for skills training regularly - some courses are one day a week, others are one week per month. And they will need time to do their coursework.
You also need to be aware that some digital marketing apprenticeship training courses don’t start until several months after the apprentice starts work with you.
So what will you be teaching your apprentice before they attend the course?
As your apprentice is straight out of school or college, there will inevitably be a time cost to staff as the apprentice bleats to be spoon fed tasks and your employees will need to monitor their output on the website and Social Media…
What you need to know about marketing apprenticeships
An apprentice out of the box is not ready to go! Just because they can operate Twitter does not mean they can promote your business in the professional way you would like.
A young person does not have the life experience or skills necessary to create your marketing message or understand an existing one.
The result will be marketing without structure and haphazard content that doesn’t work with your brand.
In addition, you have to recognise that your apprentice may not have the confidence or authority to get the required marketing and sales information from more senior personnel.
Finally, there is always the issue that a young apprentice may have a change of heart and not finish the course... or get their qualification and leave to pursue a career elsewhere.
Real World - Is an apprentice your best digital marketing option?
Lollipop have had several digital marketing apprentices and met many more. They have all been delightful young people but with varying needs and challenges.
Here's what Alex, our first apprentice, had to say on the subject:
Managing our new apprentice is an extremely rewarding experience! My aim is to help them become a better apprentice than I was by implementing new and improved processes…
That being said, finding the time to train a new employee from scratch is time consuming and challenging.”
A Marketing Manager at another local firm told me that, having an apprentice had been great at first. The youngster had really helped with all the more mundane marketing tasks, taking a big weight off the Manager's shoulders. But then he discovered that you got paid a commission over on the Sales desks. When his apprenticeship finished, he immediately abandoned Marketing to move into Sales!
Do you have a digital marketing gap?
Are you ready to smash your business growth goals with the help of experienced digital marketers? Click here
Still thinking about all the options? Read the pros and cons of hiring an employee or outsourcing to a freelancer or agency by clicking the image below.