What we’ve learned about… Creative and Digital Media Apprenticeships
I’ve worked with a few dozen creative media employers across the region and they really are based everywhere – pretty rural villages as much as metropolitan hubs. It’s clear that a huge range of companies and organisations nowadays either deliver, or rely upon creative and digital media for their communications and marketing content as well as their creative product. The roles that apprentices learn to do through this qualification are really varied.
These are some of the roles that I have supported:
Graphic Designer, Web Developer, Production Assistant, Photography Assistant, Sound Engineer, UI/UX Designer, Assistant Editor, Copywriter, Interactive Designer & Digital Content Assistant.
Creative and Digital Media Apprenticeships are exciting opportunities and you can expect to attract a young person who is versatile and talented enough to help with – or even manage – any of these areas, if provided with the tools and guidance to do the job.
Apprenticeships are intended as a way to train a young person from scratch, to turn them into a future fully-fledged professional. You should definitely look for an applicant who has a proven, genuine interest in working in this area, though of course they are unlikely to have previously been employed in a role of this kind. Young people often find this a hugely motivating and enjoyable sector to enter, so if you choose the right learner, you’ll get huge progress from them in a short time. We rarely struggle to find talented apprentices for roles like these, but they often slot in so quickly that it can be easy to forget that they also need to be given enough time for them to work towards the qualification too. To help with that, we are able to be hugely flexible in how we deliver these qualifications, for example, by minimising the amount of written tasks that your learner has to find time to do.
Many of our best apprentices in creative and digital media apprenticeships are people who have left school with few GCSEs, but have talent and energy and a will to succeed. One I’ve been mentoring over the last year arrived with few GCSEs but has now won a High Sheriff’s Award for his work and has progressed to our Level 4 qualification in a new permanent role. Another apprentice was working for a company that went bust 4 months into his apprenticeship, yet he was able to establish himself immediately as an independent video producer, and still completed his qualification with us. Versatility and initiative are key to this kind of work, and the successful CDM apprentices are the ones who are mentally prepared and driven to thrive in such a busy, ever-changing and dynamic field. So choosing the right apprentice – who will fit the pace and demands of your workplace – is key here. If you get the right one, they will soon be providing you with industry-quality work and productivity levels.
Ian Kennedy: Creative and Digital Media / Marketing Assessor
Ian Kennedy runs Friendly Creatives (a business producing websites, videos and services for dozens of clients), Screenwriters Forum (an organisation by and for professional writers in the West Midlands) and he has delivered roles for many other creative organisations including WriteMovies and dozens of commissions for the BBC. Ian has been an assessor for over 50 learners for Creative Alliance.