Are apprenticeships worth it? ?
In light of the regular tuition fee increases and the saturation of jobless graduates, this question is more relevant than ever before.
Time and time again we see the debate around what is more valuable to young adults looking to break into the world of work: going to university or going straight into employment, potentially through a targeted apprenticeship scheme?
So, we wanted to catch up with 18 year-old AMBITIOUS PR & Bristol Media apprentice Isobel Bryant, who joined them as a Junior Digital PR and Content Apprentice in December 2018. She offers some insightful advice to young adults who are unsure about what career route to take.
Moxie & Mettle: Why did you want to become an apprentice?
Isobel Bryant: I wanted to become an apprentice because it seemed like the perfect transition between leaving college and starting full time work. Before I was appointed, I had a part time job in retail whilst I studied media at college. I didn’t want to go to university, and I wasn’t experienced enough for any of the jobs I liked the sound of. I realised that an apprenticeship role would allow me to gain the experience I needed, whilst learning a bit more about what career I wanted to go into later down the line.
Moxie & Mettle: What’s the experience been like so far?
Isobel Bryant: It’s been crazy! My network has grown incredibly through Bristol Media events and client meetings with AMBITIOUS, I feel like the opportunity has allowed me to show everyone who I am and what I’m capable of. When I first started, I wasn’t very confident in my own skills, but I’ve jumped right into the deep end, and I’ve since discovered what I’m best at, what I enjoy doing, and what I still need to work on.
Moxie & Mettle: What are the three most important skills you’ve learnt?
– Initiative! Almost everything is on a deadline and 9 times out of 10; they are tight. I’ve learnt that everyone’s time is precious and being able to use your own initiative to make things easier for someone else, goes a long way.
– Planning is so important in the content game. Identifying assets, you’ll need, preparing equipment, scheduling everything ahead of time (Google Sheets and Hootsuite are great tools for this) … Don’t wing it!
– I’ve learnt editorial skills for different content platforms. Content isn’t just copy, it can be photo, graphics, gifs, the list goes on… Being able to work with, understand and edit a range is really useful in my role.
Moxie & Mettle: What’s been the most challenging part of your apprenticeship?
Isobel Bryant: Balancing my time between two apprenticeships with Bristol Media and AMBITIOUS PR has been a juggling act at times. It’s something I’m definitely still working on, but practice makes perfect! Good time management is something I’m going to face in every role I’ll have in the future, whether it be the demands of clients or work life balance.
Moxie & Mettle: Do you advise young people to look for opportunities like this one?
Isobel Bryant: For sure. I wish I was more educated on alternative routes to full time education when I was at school/college. I am so grateful to AMBITIOUS and Bristol Media for opening their doors to me, so it would be great to see some more agencies and businesses in Bristol offering similar opportunities to more young people.
Moxie & Mettle: What’s next?
Isobel Bryant: My apprenticeship assessments are coming up in November, so I’m currently in limbo in terms of what’s next, but I hope that once I’ve finished my apprenticeship in December, I am kept on. I still have so much more to learn. We’ll see!
From a company’s perspective, the benefits are endless when hiring apprentices and young adults. The younger generation certainly has an affinity with the information technology it has grown up with that older generations can struggle to appreciate. At Moxie & Mettle, we try to help more entry-level candidates get some good experience so they can enter the world of work with the skills and knowledge that clients are seeking, so let us know if you are looking for your next apprentice or graduate.
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