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I’m privileged to do some work with apprentices at The Juice Academy, an employer-led social media apprenticeship programme and I simply want to share some real-life experiences on apprenticeships from three perspectives; my own, employers, and apprentices.

My perspective
I’ve been hugely impressed by the apprentices I’ve worked with. I’m impressed by their commitment and enthusiasm and I’m even more impressed by their use of social media (a skill at the heart of their apprenticeship). In advance of me working with them, they’ve normally connected with me on Twitter and often started to engage with me about the session I’m running. Following the session, I get Twitter mentions from them as they engage in a dialogue about the session. Within a few hours of meeting them, I receive polite LinkedIn connection requests from them as they build their network. Their own social media presence is impressive, as they produce blog posts and videos about what they do. They use social media incredibly well for themselves and they apply those skills to great effect for their employers…

Employers’ perspective:
I’ll leave two of the employers to describe the benefits they see:

“We recruit for attitude and fit rather than experience and we find it’s much better to recruit young people into the business and train them up ourselves, rather than get people from outside our business to bring them in.”

Chris Oglesby, Chief Executive, Bruntwood

“On a weekly basis, the apprentices are coming into the business with new ideas and more technical ability. That’s something that’s going to help us develop as a business and reap the benefits of social media.”

Jonathan Lloyd, Marketing Manager, JW Lees

Apprentices’ perspective:
And I’ll leave two apprentices (from the two employers I’ve quoted above) to speak for themselves:

“I’ve learnt how to organise and plan for social media and just getting onto the course was a brilliant boost for my confidence. I think if people are looking into turning social media into a career, an apprenticeship like this is definitely the right place to start.” Carly Phillips, Social Media Apprentice, Bruntwood

“As a young person, I don’t think there’s a better industry to start out in than social media and the best part of my job is knowing there’s always something new to do every day. This opportunity has given me a foot in the door and I’m making new connections with different people every day.” Alex Morton, Social Media Apprentice, JW Lees

I think the power of Apprenticeships is very clear. They provide employers with a rich source of talent and they provide the apprentices with opportunities; the opportunity to work, the opportunity to learn, and the opportunity to show what they’re truly capable of.

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