It’s no secret that Blue 449 offers an industry-leading graduate scheme, with alumni holding senior roles within the agency and across media, but this year’s scheme was a little different, seeing Blue 449’s first ever apprenticeship intake, featuring myself and four other apprentices.
It seems that until recently, formal agency apprenticeships have been relatively rare, though given the combination of increased tuition fees and the potential lack of employment opportunities many graduates face, growing numbers of post-A Level students are starting to seek alternative career pathways that bypass university. Additionally, agencies are seeking young talent who can add a different perspective through having an innate understanding of social media and digital.
After seeing first-hand the struggle and frustration that graduates I knew had undergone in trying to find work in the same field as their degrees, I decided to try and find an alternative way into the media industry without the uncertainty, time consumption and expense of university, and after a little research an apprenticeship seemed like the perfect option. There are currently a disappointingly small number of apprenticeship schemes on offer in this industry, especially surprising given that apprenticeships solve a problem for both the employee and employer – that being the need for young people in digital roles, and the lack of jobs available at present for younger generations.
At Blue 449 I was immediately made to feel at home as a valued member of the team – being a bit younger and not having been to university wasn’t an issue – in fact from colleagues’ feedback, they say the recent addition of apprentices has brought something different to Blue 449: a fresh perspective, digital skillset and energy. We are very fortunate here to be on the same training scheme as the graduates, offering opportunities to build our knowledge of the company and the industry. This involves informative sessions with internal department heads, frequent talks from visiting companies, and skill-building trips to visit other offices such as those of Facebook; in just a few months our knowledge of the industry and ability in our day-to-day work has grown exponentially.
Overall I think that an apprenticeship has provided a great opportunity for all five of us, and I would highly recommend a digital apprenticeship to those hoping to enter the industry. Although a degree has its merits, there’s no better (or more cost effective) way to learn about an industry than by working in it, and I feel that Blue 449 in particular has provided a training scheme that has allowed me to broaden my knowledge (and apply it practically) in a very short time period. I have learned a huge amount about many aspects of digital marketing and media, from setting-up and running a campaign, to providing a post campaign analysis. As this has been the first year that Blue 449 has offered apprenticeships, there was every potential for complications along the way, but my experience so far has been consistently interesting and beneficial to my personal development.
In my three months here I’ve learned a huge amount already, with each day bringing something new, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead at Blue 449 in the next year!