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National Apprenticeship Week 2015

by Alex Snell, on March 13, 2015

Apprentices are thriving in England and National Apprenticeship Week celebrates the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

Is your business an apprenticeship provider or are you looking to recruit? If so, get involved!

National Apprenticeship WeekWhat happens during National Apprenticeship Week?

From the 9th to the 13th of March, schools, colleges and training organisations held events and hosted activities. Different themes have been highlighted throughout the week to recognise the wide range of apprenticeships that are available to young people and adults.

Thinking of planning an event for 2016? Learn more on how you can invite a minister or an MP!

Alex Snell - Digital Strategist / Inbound consultant

I have been working at Lollipop Local for approximately six months and I'm half way through my apprenticeship scheme. In the short time I've been exposed to the vast, complex world of SEO and digital marketing, I've gained an overwhelming amount of knowledge and experience.

After leaving college, I was in two minds about whether to go to university or not. Finding an apprenticeship was definitely the right choice for me! It meant that I could earn and learn at the same time without worrying about student debt later down the line.

Going to university wouldn't have necessarily secured me a job, so I took the opportunity to gain the experience with both hands! Being an apprentice has given me the chance to start from the bottom and work my way up in such a dynamic industry.

It still surprises me to think how much I've grown as an individual AND a digital strategist over the past 6 months.

Alex Brown - Digital Strategist / Inbound consultant

Having an apprenticeship has enabled me to not only ‘learn on the job’, but incorporate Lollipop Local’s value and brand as a company into my everyday routine. At 21, I find being part of an apprenticeship scheme highly beneficial.

It has given me the chance to learn in a genuine working environment, in which you can put your knowledge into practice. Learning a business’s ethics and individual qualities is just as important as knowing how to do the job!

With both your learning provider and employer, help and support is always at hand. Being an employee at Lollipop Local has broadened my career outlook. I would recommend applying for an apprenticeship in a subject you’re the most passionate about.

Here at Lollipop, I found somewhere I could express my creative side alongside studying digital marketing. Finding the right employer may take some time - but the result is hugely beneficial for both parties.

From an employer's perspective

When my teenage daughter left college and went out into the big wide world, she got a job at a public house. The owners took her under their wing and showed her all about running a pub. Over the space of two years, they helped my little girl to grow into a capable young woman, empowering her with the skills and confidence to manage their hostelry, but also her own pub in the future. Something for which I owe them a huge debt.

A few years after this, we were introduced to ITEC, who offered apprenticeships specifically in our industry. It was the ideal opportunity to pay something forward. It's not about cheap labour! It's a chance to give a local young person a start on the employment ladder and the understanding that, through their own efforts, they have the possibility of creating their own long term job. As an employer, we get to train up employees to give us some desperately needed help with our own business.

We selected our apprentices very carefully. There were criteria in place before anyone even got to interview and then some practical tests to make sure the successful applicants could cut the mustard.

We are building a team who are bright, enthusiastic and have a thirst for knowledge. And whose passion for what we do makes them want to educate our customers in turn.

Our Alexes have become a real asset to our business. They pick things up quickly and are keen to put any new skills into practice straightaway. After nearly six months with us, they are now able to take on some parts of our work without 'hands on' supervision which allows us to get on with bringing in new business. They contribute to other areas of running and managing the company too - design, organisation, strategy. The perspective of the youngest demographic of potential customers is crucial to some of our campaigns.

Lollipop Local is thriving as a result.

And we are already thinking about next year's intake.

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