It’s National Apprenticeships Week between the 14th and 18th of March so we’re publishing a series of blogs exploring the world of Apprenticeships from a few different perspectives. Last week, Chatter Apprentice Saskia kicked us off with a view from the sharp end. Why the Apprenticeship route was right for her and how things have panned out so far. 

This week it’s Paul’s turn, one of the Partners here at Chatter: 

Since we launched Chatter almost five years ago, we’ve been busy building an agency that “walks the talk” when it comes to developing our own talent. Early careers has always been a vital part of that plan. The three owners have taken a variety of career routes, a mixture of Graduate, YTS and lots of work experience too. We know that building great teams is about people from different backgrounds and types of experiences working together. 

And just like other agencies, we feel we have a responsibility to train, develop and nurture talent for the future. We know they won’t stay with us forever, even though we’d love it if they did, but whilst they are here, we can help them build a solid foundation of knowledge and expertise to set them up for a great career in the industry. Our benefit is having a team of people who can adapt to the Chatter way of doing things, making sure our clients are taken care of to a standard we’re happy with.  

Until last year, our early careers Chatterinos had all been Graduates from the University of Leeds, our first Graduate Harry, has just celebrated his 3rd anniversary with us. All three have invested their heart and soul into the business, and each of them have brought a fresh perspective that’s helped us expand our capability and expertise as an agency. 

Over the past 12 months, we’ve been working on our vision for the future. Growing our team is a major focus. And having scoped a trainee marketing role, combined with some client service support, we knew it was an opportunity to bring in an Apprentice. 

The Trainees we met as part of the selection process were all really enthusiastic, well researched and eager for the role. We’d have loved to have offered them all, but in the end we selected Saskia. She joined us before Christmas and has taken to life at Chatter like a duck to water. She’s already a key member of the team, a real worker bee with an eye for detail and a commitment to getting things done. 

Whilst we don’t have a formal training programme in place, we’ve worked with Saskia, the team here and the training provider to outline a role that helps her gain the most relevant experience to her course, build her skill set and get involved with a variety of different projects. So far it’s been a really positive experience, so much so, that we’re about to start recruiting for a second Apprentice to work alongside our designer.

It’s important that all businesses share the responsibility for developing the talent their industry will need in the future. Taking some time to think about the opportunities you have to offer and how you’ll support your Trainees is really important. And whilst it’ll take longer to train your own talent, in the long run you’ll have a team of people who are more committed, more expert and totally bought in to your business.