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It's National Apprenticeship Week 2023!
09 Feb 2023
by Freya Rickman

This week is National Apprenticeship Week! At J&PR, we’ve had three apprentices in total over the years with Freya R currently completing hers and Sophie still a member of the team after receiving a distinction in her course.

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, Freya R thought it would be a great opportunity to share her experience as a digital marketing apprentice at J&PR.

About my apprenticeship

I started my apprenticeship in April 2022 at 19 and my course is hosted by SBC Training in Shrewsbury. I’m now 10 months in, and have just started my final module.

I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship so far! My class is a small group of three and we get along well. I’ve done two of my three exams and I’m also building my portfolio by documenting things I’ve learned and experienced. It’s a collection of evidence of things I’ve done and how I’ve contributed to J&PR.

I’m very well supported by the team at J&PR which makes a massive difference.

Across my whole apprenticeship, I have to spend 348 hours doing off the job learning - equating to 20% of my total working hours. This could be anything from a colleague giving feedback on a piece of work, to attending meetings, revising for exams, going on training courses and doing pretty much anything for the first time.

I spend most of my days working at J&PR and go into college for one day every other week. The three modules on the digital marketing course are coding, online and offline marketing, and marketing business.

Why an apprenticeship

At my last job, I was already responsible for the company’s social media. However, I was the only person doing the marketing in-house and had no training or solid qualifications. I did a lot of self-learning, learned a bit through trial and error and free webinars, and soon realised I wanted to do more.

I liked what I did, but I wanted to do it professionally and learn proper industry skills that I could use. More than anything, I wanted to be part of a team with people I could learn from.

While my course is fantastic, the real-world skills I’ve learned in the office have been invaluable - especially in such an ever-changing sector.

To be able to get both work experience and a qualification while making an income is amazing. Personally, I learn better by getting involved so having real clients and projects to work on, rather than being in a classroom all the time, suits me well.

My advice for people considering doing an apprenticeship

For me, deciding to take the leap into an apprenticeship was the best thing I’ve ever done and I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I hadn’t!

I’ve learned so much during my time at J&PR and there are two pieces of advice I’d give to anyone looking to do an apprenticeship.

Find an apprenticeship where you are a part of a team of people.

It’s very common, particularly in marketing apprenticeships, for an apprentice to be the only member of their department. Nothing really compares to real world experience and knowledge shared from people who do the job every single day, so don’t make yourself the only person in your office working in that department.

It has been critical for me to have people to bounce my ideas off of, and my job would be a lot harder if I was working with people who didn’t really understand what I do. 

Do your apprenticeship at an agency - if you can!

I know not all apprenticeships are in a sector where agency work is an option, but it's worth considering if it’s available because the range of experience and opportunities is on another level. Knowing I’ve got experience marketing a range of different industries gives me much more confidence in my own skills.

Take the jump!

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, an apprenticeship is definitely a good route. There are always positions available and so many great Shropshire businesses offer apprenticeships. Take a look at the government website for vacancies, or if you’re local to Shropshire have a look into the training that SBC offers.