National Apprenticeship Week 2019

National Apprenticeship Week 2019

National Apprenticeship Week 2019

In light of National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week we thought that a feature blog by one of our apprentices would answer some frequently asked questions about what life is like as an apprentice.

Ciara Williams has been an apprentice in the marketing department at Zeel Solutions for over 18 months and is coming to the end of her Digital Marketing apprenticeship course. Throughout her time at Zeel Solutions Ciara has been developing her skills and becoming more confident in her role within the marketing department.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

“For me, I went straight into my level 3 apprenticeship after I had completed my A-levels at Sixth Form because I didn’t feel ready for university, it was a daunting prospect. On top of this, after researching my different options I found it appealing how much more control I would have if I pursued an apprenticeship. I also considered how doing an apprenticeship would fit my learning style as I am a visual learner. Due to my growing interest in marketing after studying Media Studies at A level, I started looking at various courses but found it troublesome to choose a course, because I wasn’t sure which aspect of marketing I wanted to go into. There are many apprenticeships available to fit anyone and everyone. There are apprenticeships ranging from animal care, media, performing arts, health and public services, digital marketing, science, mathematics, engineering and so many more spanning the United Kingdom. Not only this, there are many levels to choose from when doing an apprenticeship and its quite simple too, for me I browsed apprenticeships listed on GOV.uk and enrolled online.

What does your apprenticeship entail?

During my 18 months here at Zeel Solutions, I have been involved in a lot of different activities in the marketing department, ranging from attending trade shows, to implementing internal marketing strategies and everything in-between. On the college side of things, I attended college classes monthly depending on the schedules of the other digital marketing apprentices on my course. Usually it was a week every two months to go over the compulsory content ready for the exams. While on the topic of exams, I cannot speak for all apprentices but I had to pass three exams designed to test my knowledge on the principles of marketing and the fundamentals of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Throughout my apprenticeship the concept of ‘learn while you earn’ hasn’t been as easy as I first expected. However, the skills I have acquired over the apprenticeship period are extremely valuable and can be utilised in your everyday life, as well as your future opportunities. The main reason why an apprenticeship was the best option for me personally is because I can go at my own learning pace, while getting support from my line manager and trainers at Skills Training. I would definitely recommend enrolling if you are 16 or over and not be in full time education.

What are the benefits on your apprenticeship?

“If I were to list all of the benefits to an apprenticeship we would be here all day. One of the main benefits for most is having the opportunity to ‘learn while you earn’. Secondly, for me (more importantly) you become a part of something bigger and learn a verity of different things from business management to prioritising the tasks you have at hand. Furthermore, an apprenticeship makes you more accustomed to working in an office environment with others and collaborate as a team. On top of this another great benefit is being in control of your own academic development because if you don’t put the work in you are not going to get much out.”

Are you treated like a full employee?

Absolutely. There does seem to be a long-standing stigma towards an apprentice’s role within the business they serve. Some may think that an apprentice’s job is to just make the tea and run errands around the office. In fact, it is the complete opposite at Zeel Solutions. I was made to feel like an equal and valued member of the team.  Zeel Solutions have made a real effort to guide my learning while giving me the resources to develop my marketing skills and techniques in my own time. Working and learning alongside passionate individuals at Zeel is something I am truly grateful for.

What is next in Ciara’s future?

Staying on here at Zeel Solutions after my apprenticeship and continuing to learn and develop my skills in the marketing department. Hopefully I will continue to grow in confidence and create more content, campaigns and analysis reports. I do truly believe that completing an apprenticeship will kick-start your career. The sheer amount of skills that you can accumulate and develop throughout your apprenticeship is honestly an asset to have for the future. Starting your career with an apprenticeship is an option that some teens can overlook, but talking with a professional careers counsellor will highlight the benefits and guide you to make the best possible decision regarding your career.

If you would like to know more about what Zeel Solutions can offer you and your career check out our Careers page.