It’s been a while since I was of the age to be considering an apprenticeship (20 years, since you’re wondering)
But when the opportunity came along to take part in National Apprenticeship Week and help promote the work of young people in business, it was a chance I couldn’t turn down.
So for half a day last week I gave up control of my company – without much hesitation – to take part in a job swap with our Juice Academy social media apprentice, Chloe.
It didn’t come as a complete surprise to me the things I would have to do as the apprentice for the day, given that Chloe has been working for me for 11 months.
The first job of the day was keeping an eye on our clients’ social media accounts.Luckily, as our new MD, Chloe was on hand to help me out when I got a bit stuck and she was able to offer advice, even when I didn’t ask for it (don’t know where she got that management trait from).
Despite being an agency focused on digital outcomes we still do ‘classical’ PR campaigns and sometimes that means collating hard copies of newspapers and magazines along with online coverage.
Going through the “archives” of cutting and magazines is one of the first things I had to do when I started my career all those many years ago, so thankfully I wasn’t too far out of my depth. In fact, back in the day we used to have to cut and paste every single cutting by hand and then photocopy them manually. At least nowadays digital cuttings save a lot of the leg work.
However, as a social media apprentice I had to get someone to explain where the newspaper filing actually was. I normally just ask someone else to fix the problem for me.
My half day as an apprentice ended with a good old brainstorm with the PR Agency One consumer team – although this was a bit different for me.
It was my job to come up with social media ideas, and suggest how our PR campaigns could be translated into social media activity (as you can see though, not everyone in the team was overly enthused with my ideas – maybe I need some more experience).
Looking back on the experience, it definitely gave me a new insight into the work that goes into what apprentices do for business, as well as demonstrate the benefits, both to the apprentice and their employer.
I could have read about the things I did during the day and learned that way but being in a working environment meant I could put ideas to practical use immediately.
It also went someway to lift the lid on what getting into the workplace is like as an 18-year-old nowadays – like I said, it’s been a while – and I would definitely recommend apprenticeships as a route to work for any young person. I reckon I would have been managing director by 25 if I had started that early and not gone to university (**wink**).