What made you decide to take on an apprentice?
What we’re doing is a new part of the company – we’re opening a hospital for young people with mental health, so Becky was taken on as an apprentice for marketing and social media, and that’s where the Level 3 Apprenticeship came in.
She’s worked tirelessly for the company; in the director’s words, she’s produced some stunning work! It’s a good insight if it’s not just your colleagues, but people who you don’t work with every day, who notice the impact you’re having!
How did Rebecca contribute to your team?
She just gets everything done that’s been asked of her. The directors are specifically impressed with the podcasts that she’s set up and managed; some of the time the podcast couldn’t be done in the building, so she used her own initiative to do the podcasts elsewhere, which wasn’t always easy.
Some of the people on the podcast were part of our senior leadership team too, but she dealt with this really well and produced some really good podcasts which we’ve been able to use on our website. She’s just fit in really well, and I think from Becky’s point of view and my point of view, it’s been an enlightening learning curve.
Overall, it’s been a good experience for the company and for Becky, and I think she’s felt very supported by work. We’ve had regular meetings and it’s all been pretty good. If Becky wanted to do any further apprenticeships or training, then we would look into what we could do to offer and support those opportunities.
What were Rebecca’s most notable accomplishments?
The podcasts have been a real big accomplishment. I think the building of the website and all the photography that Becky’s had input in putting together – and we’ve also just launched some brochures which Becky’s helped to design.
It’s also little things. For example, we’re having some hanging baskets on the front of the manor and Becky got all the brand assets together so we could personalise the fixtures. It’s a small thing but it’s made a big difference to how they look, and Becky’s been able to support lots of different projects in her time here; the amount of well-rounded knowledge that she’s acquired is amazing.
Did you find the regular check-ins with the Digital Skills Coach helpful?
Oh yeah, they’re helpful. I think Becky’s been a model apprentice, she’s just got on with it. I also think that it’s important that the company makes sure that the 20% dispensation that they need to give is given.
Becky worked from home one day a week, whichever she chose, depending on when the lessons were, as she used this time to do the training. I think it’s important to make sure that the apprentice has the time they need to complete their study, and I think companies need to make sure that they stick with what they’re signing up for.
It’s been a good experience all round, and if Becky chooses at some point to do another course, we’d support it. I think it’s good to keep the training up if we can.
What advice would you give to other employers who are considering hiring an apprentice?
I would say to them to be prepared in the initial stages, because there’s a lot of paperwork to go through. I would also say that they need to make sure that their apprentice is looked after in every way. And always be mindful that that person is part of the team. You’ve also got to really look after an apprentice from a health and safety point of view.
I think it’s important as well that when taking on apprentices, that companies try to make sure that the experience works well for them too. It’s an investment. You’re investing in someone, and you’re offering them the tools to be able to stay within the company and help the company.
Would you recommend an apprenticeship to other employers?
I would recommend it with guidance that there’s some work to do in the early stages, so be prepared for the paperwork! But once that’s all done, then you’re all set. It’s relatively straightforward, as long as you can manage to meet up with the training co-ordinator and give them feedback. And I would also say to them, just make sure that you look after your apprentice so you both get the most out of the opportunity.