Supporting the next generation of digital marketers
In 2023 Adtraction engaged with the UK’s apprenticeship scheme for the first time to bring digital marketing apprentices into the company. A year on Adtraction UK reflects on its first year learnings as an apprenticeship employer.
Work with a good training provider
Adtraction has worked with skills provider LDN Apprenticeships for the past year. Regular communication and check-ins between Manager, Skills Coach and Apprentice have been crucial. Alex Ramsden, Skills Coach at LDN Apprenticeships notes “It’s great to see international companies like Adtraction engage with the Apprenticeship Scheme for the first time. Employers who engage with the scheme make a fifteen-month commitment and this is something businesses need to consider when working with apprentices. We encourage companies to reflect whether they have the resources and flexibility to support the apprenticeship workforce and can offer them the actual real life work experience needed to be successful with their apprenticeship portfolio work. It’s positive to see Adtraction take on board so much of our advice and it’s been refreshing to see just how supportive they’ve been in terms of providing a positive workplace experience.”
Give apprentices exposure to different areas of the organisation
Not all apprentices will have worked in a business environment before. They might flourish when they get exposure to certain areas, such as sales, business development, marketing or a combination of roles. Providing this ‘all-round’ exposure can help an apprentice understand what areas within business might be more appealing career progression paths. Equally, when possible, giving apprentices the opportunity to witness or experience situations and projects which might seem too senior based on their level can be inspiring. Offering a chance to ‘be in the room where it happens’ could be a pivotal moment for their career aspirations.
Listen and value a different perspective
Rumman Islam is currently working at Adtraction whilst engaging in the Digital Marketing Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard. For Rumman, one of the most encouraging parts of his apprenticeship has been the opportunity to be heard and offer his perspective. “I feel like I can bring a different perspective to our team discussions and that my input is as valued as any other member of the team. Working at Adtraction has given me all of the fundamentals to have a good career within Marketing and I am grateful for such an opportunity.”
Apprentices take on personal responsibility to manage their time independently. This is a combination of study and project work, as well as their time working for their employer. Apprenticeship meetings and study days are predominantly online, and coupled with more flexible working agreements, this creates a huge advantage in time efficiency. The combination allows apprentices to manage their daily schedule to incorporate both study and work in one day when required. However, one area which requires more considered effort is to ensure managers and supporting peers are always accessible to apprentices, even on remote working days. For Adtraction this has meant adapting the format of check-ins to ensure shorter, but more frequent time is allocated for manager and apprentice to talk on the days they aren’t in an office together.
Don’t sugar-coat expectations
Whilst apprentices will have a slightly different employment contract and are given responsibilities and tasks aligned with their experience level it’s important as their employer to be open, honest and consistent with what good performance looks like. As well as coming away from the apprenticeship scheme with a qualification, apprentices want to gain real work experience that reflects how the quality of their work and output will be reviewed in the future. As an example, including apprentices in the same quarterly or annual review process that follows the rest of the company structure has been important to provide a realistic experience of working at Adtraction.
Anjulie Blunden, Managing Partner for Adtraction UK concludes, “I’ve always been an advocate of supporting entry-level talent into affiliate marketing, many of the brightest leaders in our industry came in at entry level roles. As employers within digital marketing we need to diversify the avenues and sources used to find new talent. Working with the apprenticeships scheme not only supports this goal but equally helps equip emerging talent with the knowledge, experience and qualifications to grow the digital marketing industry of the future. I’m pleased to have engaged with the scheme over the last year.”