A social media apprenticeship spearheaded by Tangerine PR and including some of the UK's leading creative agencies and marketing teams is set to become the latest in a number of industry apprenticeships designed to help young people into digital and advertising jobs.
The announcement said a pilot would be based in the north-west with a launch in early summer. Industry specialists have been lined up to deliver parts of the programme alongside guest lecturers. Liverpool's PH Creative will cover SEO elements of the apprenticeship, while Kingfisher Coaching's Ian Pettigrew will cover a range of professional skills and techniques.
The new scheme was announced to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week and is supported by an advisory panel including Sandy Lindsay of Tangerine PR; William Lees-Jones, managing director at JW Lees; Scott Jefferson, marketing director at Pets at Home; and John Myers, head of apprenticeships at the National Apprenticeship Service. Tangerine has chosen Total People as the apprenticeship partner.
Head of integrated and digital strategy and leader of the programme, Anna Wilson, commented: "Social media is not an enigma, it’s a science and this apprenticeship will be truly employer led, delivered by practising professionals who will give real insight into using social media in a professional context.
"Colleges and learning providers are doing a great job of delivering apprenticeships across the UK but we felt this Apprenticeship could be delivered most effectively by an employer in the industry. The course will combine industry-leading insight with practical application of technique and uses Tangerine’s investment-led approach to really empower young people to succeed in the field."
An advertising apprenticeship was recently launched by Creative Skillset in the first of its kind, an addition to digital and marketing-based apprenticeships already on offer. As university fees in England become problematic for young people, apprenticeship schemes may provide an alternative entry to jobs in digital media and jobs in advertising.
Meanwhile, the UK commission for employment and skills called for incentive boosts for businesses to encourage the delivery of high quality apprenticeships days after prime minister David Cameron said apprenticeships should become the "new normal" for young people not going to university.
A new report recommended direct funding to employers instead of colleges, stating: "For too long, employers have been asked to engage with government-led skills initiatives underpinned by unsustainable levels of public funding."
Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership and of the commission, said: "The changes we put forward in this report will challenge us all: employers, government, colleges and unions. But at its heart, what we are recommending is a long term commitment to identifying and investing in the skills and talents our economy really needs. To achieve that, employers must be in the driving seat with the freedom to work collaboratively in their sector, in their local area, within their supply chain, and with colleges and training providers to address the skills gaps they face now and in the future.
"In return, employers need to take responsibility for generating training opportunities for young people which are more relevant and more valuable. To support this, colleges and training providers will be freed from having to ‘sell’ government’s agenda to employers. And crucially, given the continuing pressure on public finances, there will be significant savings for the taxpayer. None of this will be easy, but I believe it is vital if we are to develop the kind of workforce which will deliver on our shared ambitions for growth and prosperity.”