This week is National Apprenticeship Week, an observation of both the steps made by young people to break into their chosen industry, and the businesses who work hard to support the goals and dreams of these individuals.
Champions (UK) plc, a leading brand and marketing agency based in Loughborough, is just one of the many businesses that creates life changing opportunities for young people through their apprenticeship offering. From digital marketing to social media, Champions have welcomed many apprentices into their departments over the years.
Matthew Hayes, Managing Director, expressed 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 in order to build a bright future for themselves and excel in a professional environment. 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.”
An insight into the life of a Champions Apprentice
Speaking to some of the past and present apprentices from Champions, we were able to get an insight into their experiences at Champions and learn more about how an apprenticeship helped them in their career.
Kali Dennett – SEO Apprentice
“I think apprenticeships are a good way to balance both education and workplace experience, which has helped me to perfect my skills and confidence in business environment.
I really enjoyed the sense of community here at Champions, as well as having the support from experts within the digital marketing industry. 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.
My favourite experience has been the opportunity to see projects all the way through, from concept to fruition. I recently helped Champions to launch 5 new websites and directly assisted with the content and SEO optimisation. I found it really rewarding to see my work be applied to a real-life site whilst making a positive impact on a business.”
Lauren Perkins – SEO/Digital Marketing Apprentice – Recently Graduated
“I wanted to do an apprenticeship because I felt the course offering was better suited to me rather than going to university. It was nice to learn valuable skills whilst also being in an office environment.
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. As a result of this, not only have I been able to further develop my skills, but I have also matured.
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.”
Georgia Haslam – Social Media Apprentice – Graduated
“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’s 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!”
Scott Skerrit – Digital Marketing Apprentice – Graduated (now in a senior position at Champions)
Scott, who completed his apprenticeship with Champions in 2017, is a prime example of how Champions nurture their apprentices throughout their journey, creating invaluable members of the team for years to come.
“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. My role then essentially changed into an in-house role for Champions Speakers. This role solely focussed on improving SEO for several internal websites.
The fast-paced environment, talented staff and attitude from Champions as a whole was what really allowed me to develop. The fact that the company trusted me to conduct the work and gave me an environment where I could make mistakes was what really allowed me to develop professionally.
I was also 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.”
Champions are excited to continue building the foundations for success for young professionals in the local area. If you’re interested in an apprenticeship at Champions (UK) plc, please send an email to [email protected] for more information.