Just a year after its launch, The Juice Academy – the UK’s first industry-led social media apprenticeship – last night beat off stiff competition from other Greater Manchester businesses in the creative and digital sector to win a Greater Manchester Skills for Business award in the creative and digital skills category sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University.
Jess Matthewman, digital strategist and Academy tutor and Bryony Czujko, Tangerine account executive, picked up the award at an awards ceremony at The Hilton Hotel Manchester Deansgate hosted by Irish comedian and presenter of TV’s The Apprentice, You’re Fired!, Dara O Briain who compèred the event.
The Juice Academy apprenticeship – the brainchild of Manchester’s Tangerine PR – was created to increase youth employment and fill an industry-wide skills gap by training young professionals in the practical application of social media.
Apprentices are trained in key skills such as social media management, developing content for social sharing, developing a digital strategy, keyword analysis and SEO, and social media for mobile. As part of their day-to-day roles, they play a vital role in their company’s or clients’ social media strategy and bringing to life the lessons learnt from class.
Richard Nash from Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network said: “The Juice Academy has successfully identified a critical digital skills gap and has created the UK’s first industry-led social media apprenticeships to fill this. Their apprenticeship programme has been created for the industry, by the industry, which makes this organisation truly stand out above any other, which positions it in a league of its own.”
Commenting on the award win, Lucy Adams, senior project co-ordinator, said: “We’ve had some major milestones in The Academy recently, such as every apprentice on our first cohort being offered permanent roles at the end of the apprenticeship this month, and now this award tops off a superb year.”
In total 70 Greater Manchester organisations or individuals were shortlisted in 17 categories.
The jury panel comprised of some of the region’s most notable representatives from the learning and skills sector including Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Employment and Skills at Manchester City Council; Mike Blackburn, the chair of the Learning and Enterprise Partnership in Greater Manchester and Regional Director for BT; Rachael Beasley, FE Work Based Learning Account Manager at Pearson Work Based Learning; Paul Holme, Skills Policy Advisor at New Economy and David Teale, Chief Executive of North of England Excellence.
The awards are created through collaboration between the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMPLN), Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) and New Economy (NE).
The headline sponsor for the Greater Manchester Skills for Business Awards 2014 is Pearson Work Based Learning and other sponsors include Manchester Metropolitan University, Salford Business School and Greater Manchester Colleges Group (GMCG). Other partners include Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Apprenticeships and North of England Excellence.
The Juice Academy is currently recruiting employers and apprentices for its July cohort – apply here: www.juiceacademy.co.uk.