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Midland’s brand agency boosts career growth for apprentices in a bid to address education crisis

Midland’s brand agency boosts career growth for apprentices in a bid to address education crisis

A leading Midland's brand agency is working hard to combat the education and employment crisis among growing fears that thousands of students could miss out on further education.

With the coronavirus pandemic making such an impact on unemployment across the UK which has reached its highest level in four years, Champions (UK) plc aims to support and help students take the next step in their career.

Based in Loughborough Champions (UK) plc, are creating life changing opportunities for young people through their apprenticeship offering in a bid to support young people in breaking into their chosen industry and encourage other businesses to do the same, to support the goals and dreams of these individuals.

From digital marketing to social media, Champions have welcomed many apprentices into their departments over the years. And, as we reach National Apprenticeship Week, Matthew Hayes, Managing Director, tells of his interest in furthering the careers of driven young professionals:

“I’ve personally welcomed a number of promising individuals into the Champions family, and it gives me a great sense of pride to see them progress within our family.

“For me, it's an honour to give our apprentices the support they need to build a bright future for themselves and excel in a professional environment. During these difficult times in particular, it is now more important than ever before for businesses to get on board and support our next generation.

“I think apprenticeships are the perfect solution for those who wish to get their foot on the career ladder earlier on and give them a real taste for what their future may hold.”

Generating high value careers for the individuals it has invested in, notably, Champions Senior SEO Executive Scott Skerritt started as a Digital Marketing Apprentice at the firm, completing his apprenticeship in 2017 and has remained at the company ever since.

“I started my apprenticeship in 2016 with almost no knowledge of what SEO really was and quickly got hooked on the fast-paced environment at Champions. I was brought into a team that was very talented and who worked on a range of clients and websites. I was able to learn the fundamentals of search and was given the opportunity to work on multiple clients.

“A year later and after receiving my apprenticeship qualification, I was offered a full-time contract by Champions – which I obviously jumped at the chance to take. I was offered 1:1 business coaching, group sessions, had a training plan and took trips to industry conferences – all of which has allowed me to build up my skillset and the confidence needed to do my job the best possible.

“I’m extremely grateful for Champions’ support and belief in me as an apprentice and can honestly say that I would not be the person I am today had it not been for their support over the last four years.”

Now, as a central functionality to the Champions leading services division and after an investment of £1 million on a new digital hub in 2019, Georgia Haslam, Social Media Executive has benefited tremendously from the support she received as a Social Media Apprentice.

“I wanted to do an apprenticeship because I wanted to learn on the job, with a hands-on approach, from people who are more experienced than me. I believe there is just some things that can’t be learnt solely from education, and that apprenticeships breach this gap.

“At champions, not only have I learnt practical skills, but I have also learnt people skills, social skills and how to present myself professionally in front of paying clients.

“My favourite experience was when Champions sent me to the Shard for advanced social media training in London, which ultimately lead to me running multiple successful advertising campaigns across my client base. This shows that Champions that are fully invested in developing their apprentices.

“Not only did Champions support me through my level 3 apprenticeship, but they also put me through my degree, which I am so thankful for!”

Other recent SEO apprentice graduate Lauren Perkins and Kali Dennett who is still undertaking her SEO apprenticeship with the company agree that apprenticeships are better suited to offering actual workplace experience, something that most employers now see as essential when hiring.

Kali said: “The digital industry moves so fast, once you’ve learnt something in an educational environment, it can quickly become irrelevant. However, with apprenticeships, you learn as you go, ensuring your skills constantly up to date.”

Lauren added: “I feel like apprenticeships give you a lot of life and world experience as you can work with people of all ages, skills, and experiences. I really enjoyed working on new sites and seeing something through form start to finish, and I found it really rewarding to see my ideas incorporated into a real-life website. I believe it’s important to get young people into apprenticeships as it opens up more opportunities.”

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