Digital Apprenticeships – Going From Today’s Youth To Tomorrow’s Digital Marketers

Here at Marketing Signals, there are two younger members of staff completing an apprenticeship in digital marketing, myself being one them. With the new academic year about to start and a lot of school/college leavers continuing their education into University or Sixth Form, perhaps it’s time you thought about the next step in your career?

This is where apprenticeships come into the mix. In the UK, we’re long past the times of apprenticeships only being for those wanting to get into manual labour careers. You can now get apprenticeships in a range of industries from beauty to zoology, accountancy to video game design, as well as plenty in between.

Apprenticeships in the digital industries have seen a rise to prominence over the last decade, matching the trend of UK houses with access to the internet – which currently stands at 90%. So I thought I’d give you the lowdown on some of the answers to questions you most definitely have.

Why Should I Think About An Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a way of getting into an industry without the debt associated with going to university. From experience, I can tell you a lot of students leaving college across the country don’t like the idea of being in over £9000 worth of debt after just a year of studying. With an apprenticeship, you don’t have this problem, as the costs are paid by the government in the form of grants to the providers (assuming you are under 19 at the time you start your course).

Apprenticeships provide high-quality training in the workplace, while also giving you a full-time job and helping you earn a living. The support you receive from both your employer and your course provider are typically of a very good standard, meaning you will be fully trained in your field by the time your apprenticeship ends.

Why Digital?

Potential growth. That’s why.

The digital industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. It covers a multitude of different niches, with marketing, design, coding and social media being just a few examples. The speed at which new technologies and techniques are being implemented and used is getting quicker, year on year.

Digital Marketing, for instance, is a field that we at Marketing Signals have a wide range of experience in but the industry is constantly changing and it’s schemes like apprenticeships that help the youth of today become the digital marketers of the future.

So, I Know I Want To Do This, But Isn’t The Pay Really Low?

Let’s talk money for a second. The National Minimum Wage for people on an apprenticeship is currently £3.70 an hour (at the time of writing), lower than the minimum wage for over 18s (currently closer to £6 an hour). However, don’t let this detract from the fact that most employers pay significantly more than minimum wage to their staff on apprenticeship programmes, averaging closer to £8.00 an hour for Level 3 Apprentices.

So to answer the question, no, the pay isn’t really low.

Who Are Apprenticeships For?

It’s a common misconception that apprenticeships are for low-skilled workers just looking to earn a bit of money. Apprenticeships are not what they were thirty years ago.

Modern-day apprenticeships offer highly technical methods of learning new skills and developing yourself as a person. Whether your performance at GCSE level was better than expected or whether your grades fell slightly below par, an apprenticeship may be the ideal next step.

What Qualifications Can I Gain?

Well, this depends on where you start, but typically the most common apprenticeship qualifications are either Level 2 (equivalent to GCSEs) or Level 3 (equivalent to A Levels). However, if you’re a college leaver there’s also a third major option that is continuing to grow in popularity – Degree Apprenticeships. These are apprenticeships that are completed over the course of around two to three years, during which you are working towards coming out of the course with a degree. Degree Apprenticeships are a way of earning a degree without the debt associated with university tuition fees.

What Can I Expect From An Apprenticeship?

I’ll talk from experience and tell you that apprenticeships have opened up a whole new world to both myself and our other apprentice, Josh. From the day the course started and we started at Marketing Signals, we have had unrivalled support from both our employer and our provider. We work full-time here at Marketing Signals and have been welcomed with open arms, learning as we go and picking up valuable life skills. This is all while also making friends along the way.

If you want a way to get into the digital industry, get looking for an apprenticeship and may your decision today have a positive impact on the rest of your career.

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About James Gill

James Gill

James is one of our new marketing apprentices. He has recently finished a two year tenure at Aquinas College, where he picked up A Levels in Business, Accountancy and Mathematics. Having worked in the sports marketing industry through his teens, he’s looking to develop his digital marketing skills with Marketing Signals.