An opportunity to break into the advertising job industry is being offered to young people thanks to a new apprenticeship scheme from Creative Skillset.
The Higher Level Apprenticeship in advertising and marketing communications emerged after expressions of interest from both young people and industry to adapt existing digital and marketing-based job apprenticeships to an advertising discipline.
The scheme gives agencies the chance to take on bright new talent and provide on-the-job training at a smaller cost, while the business also benefits from the apprentice's government-funded college training. The National Apprenticeship Service recently reported apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular across all industries, particularly among smaller employers.
Jane Saunders, of Creative Skillset, said: "The feedback we were getting was that there was a missing link between what to do after school to get into that world without choosing the university route. There is a lack of knowledge at schools in giving kids advice. We have got an awareness job to do."
Written by advertising and marketing executives, the course will leave apprentices with a level four qualification - the equivalent of a foundation degree, the first year of a degree course. Agencies work with colleges to recruit the right person for their business, and each apprenticeship can be tailored to the requirements of the company. For youngsters who do not count university as an option or who are keen to get straight into industry, the apprenticeship - primarily aimed at the 18+ age group - is a golden opportunity.
"A young person can apply directly to us directly, by expressing interest on our Facebook page or through an employer," Saunders added. "The advertising community is embracing it. Before this, most people who wanted to get into advertising had tried by applying to related schemes, naturally there is a lot of industry crossover. The formula can be moulded, it's flexible. This is an attractive proposition."
It is hoped that applications through agencies will become the normal route for new apprentices as more advertising agencies sign up. A Populus study found 76 per cent of employers said apprenticeships provide higher overall productivity in their business, and 77 per cent believed apprenticeships made them more competitive.
Sally Boulton, head of talent acquisition at Tribal DDB, which took on six creative and digital media apprentices, said: "The apprentices are learning a profession and experiencing first-hand the diverse disciplines required of a market-leading, full-service agency. We benefit too, with members of our team having become mentors, they are developing and refining their managerial and professional skills.
"We had so many good candidates it was a tough decision to decide who to choose. They were keen and passionate and clearly wanted to be part of Tribal."
Potential post-apprenticeship job roles in advertising could include trainee account executive, junior designer, trainee producer or trainee digital manager. More information on the scheme can be found here.