Future Faces: Apprentice of the Year Award Winner.

Taylor Rooke Digital Content Producer Apprentice with Updates Media

Here at Creative Alliance, we’re delighted that Taylor has won the very first Apprentice of the Year Award at the annual Future Faces Awards, organised by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce.

Taylor won the award, because, as Managing director of Updates Media Oli Hills said,

“Taylor is an absolute joy to work with and is a credit to the Updates Media team. He has had a huge impact on our business and his potential continues to flourish. Taylor is a flat out creative and will go a very long way in this industry”.

Taylor completes his apprenticeship this autumn and has already been offered a permanent position with Updates Media.

Quote from Taylor:

“I’m absolutely over the moon! I honestly cannot thank the team at Updates Media and Creative Alliance enough for giving me all of the incredible opportunities and experiences that I’ve had since starting my apprenticeship. I’m absolutely chuffed! Thank you and well done to everyone else who has been nominated and won tonight!

Beth Mitchell, Digital Marketer Apprentice at Ark Media was runner up in the category. Many congratulations to Beth and to her employer Phil Arkinstall. Ark Media have been tremendous supporters of local talent through the apprenticeship programme and deserve their own recognition as apprentice employer of the year.

This is the very first time the Future Faces Awards, that recognises the best of the emerging talent across all industry sectors, has included an apprentice of the year award. It is growing recognition of the value of apprenticeships as a viable alternative route to becoming a young professional in any industry sector. As James Ellis, Business Development Manager and Taylor’s Development Coach acknowledges:

“Taylor is a shining example of a high performing apprentice and has set the blueprint for aspiring creatives, demonstrating how to successfully get your foot in the door within the creative industries and make a huge impact from the outset”.

If you are interested in a Creative, Digital or marketing apprenticeship then please click here

Or if you want to see the final awards online then please click here.

The Application that Won Taylor the Award

Taylor is aged 19 and is working as a Content Production Apprentice for Updates Media, a Birmingham based media agency that creates networks of local social media interest channels across the UK; allowing brands to speak to local audiences through the production of engaging and creative content. Taylor’s role is based within their flagship site, Birmingham Updates, the most engaged local interest and lifestyle platform in the West Midlands. Taylor works within the content team, where he is focused on developing the hugely popular Birmingham Updates platform, whilst creating content for the website and social media. Day to day, he engages the Birmingham Updates audience with the content he creates and as a result, he has substantially grown the company’s following and online presence. During March 2020 – June 2020, Taylor solely ran Birmingham Updates, his content achieved 96,000,000 impressions through their social channels.

Taylor’s apprenticeship is delivered through local training specialists, Creative Alliance. Taylor first approached the Creative Alliance team in the summer of 2019, shortly after completing his A Levels in Film Studies, Art & Design and Performing Arts. Prior to applying for an apprenticeship, Taylor had already been proactive in his quest to pursue a career within the creative industries, by completing freelance work alongside his college studies. By the age of 18, he had amassed an extensive portfolio that spanned works from videography, to photography and graphic design. As a natural creative and a bona fide media obsessive, Taylor was adamant that he did not want to pursue the traditional University route. Instead, he believed that the opportunity of an apprenticeship would provide the perfect mix of training and workplace experience, where he would be able to build upon the knowledge and skills he had gained from his freelance assignments and apply it within a live working environment, under the supervision of industry experts. Ultimately, allowing him to make the transition from a young independent creative to fulfilling his dream of becoming a vital asset for an established brand within the creative economy.

Shortly after attending a Creative Alliance advice and guidance session, Taylor’s infinite potential gained him the position of a Junior Content Creator for Updates Media. Fast forward six months and unsurprisingly, Taylor has already exceeded the high expectations of both his employer and training provider. At just the half-way point of his apprenticeship, the work that Taylor has produced has been astonishing and he has proven himself to be an invaluable member of staff both to Updates Media and Creative Alliance.

Since commencing his employment, Taylor has initiated and supported multiple projects and campaigns and has helped drive the organisations vision forward.  Taylor has devised plans and delivered content that has engaged the Birmingham Updates audience, both prior to and during the particularly challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of Taylor’s key achievements include:

  • Rebranded Birmingham Updates and Updates Media: designed new palette, logos, templates and graphics.
  • Produced, directed and edited Tunesday: a weekly video series showcasing Birmingham’s talented musicians.
  • Produced, directed, starred and edited Birmingham Through the Ages: a client sponsored video series documenting how aspects of Birmingham culture such as Food, Fashion, Protest and Industry have evolved through times. The series reached over 250,000 people
  • Developed concept, produced, directed and edited The Bulletin: a Birmingham Updates news show.
  • Designed and implemented new graphics for social channels.
  • Produced and managed social media campaigns
  • Taken leadership on multiple client facing projects
  • Provided voiceover work for multiple Creative Alliance webinars, outside the scope of his apprenticeship.
  • Filmed celebrities and industry pioneers included Jasper Carrott, Stephen Knight and the West Midlands Mayor.
  • Created content throughout the lockdown period, which achieved 96,000,000 impressions across social channels

Throughout his apprenticeship, Taylor has been dedicated, working with passion and focus, seizing any opportunity available to upskill his performance within his role. Always positive and adaptable, Taylor has risen to the challenge of working independently, embracing new technologies to the point of proficiency and as a result, he has become an invaluable team member during the current challenging operating environment. Taylor has gone above and beyond the work that is required of him and has pushed himself out of his comfort zone on several occasions, engaging in various professional development opportunities both in and out of the workplace, learning new skills related to his job role and beyond.

Taylor has a fantastic demeanour, he’s very punctual, attends all seminars as part of his apprenticeship and is always the first to put his hand up to answer a question; he uses his initiative, he’s charismatic and he articulates himself to a very high standard, which allows him to excel in client facing situations. He understands the work that is required of him in order to become a success within the creative industry and he has excelled in all areas. According to Updates Media Managing Director, Oli Hills, and Creative Alliance Development Coach, James Ellis, Taylor operates at a level above that of an apprentice (as demonstrated in his achievements to date) and as a result, he dispels the myths and stigmas surrounding apprentices, proving that when passion meets support and guidance, there are no limits as to what can be achieved. It is for these reasons as to why Taylor should win the Apprentice of The Year award.

The knowledge and skills that Taylor has obtained and implemented to date simply surpasses the calibre of most new employees. In just six-months, Taylor has achieved what a new employee could be expected to achieve over a three to five-year period. With each project, he continues to impress and exceed both the expectations of his employer and training provider. As his confidence throughout the programme has grown, he now takes leadership in client facing situations and has thrived on opportunities presented to him, even if it has meant him being pushed out of his comfort zone.

Due to his bias towards videography, Taylor is a natural in front of the camera and this was evidently proven through one of his many key achievements to date, where he successfully produced, starred and directed the popular documentary series: Birmingham Through The Ages, a project that celebrated Birmingham’s culture and evolution, whilst shining a positive light on the city’s many diverse communities. Taylor took leadership on the project and was involved from start to finish throughout the whole production cycle. The series was a huge success, reaching over 250,000 people across social media.

As well as seizing every opportunity presented to him, Taylor has also embraced professional development, where he has focused on not only enhancing his current skillset, but also strengthening key areas for improvement such as prioritisation and expectation management. Throughout his apprenticeship, he has taken every piece of advice from his colleagues, line managers and development coaches on board and has succeeded in making  a conscious effort to implement the feedback into his work, which is testament to his character. As a result, Taylor is incredibly strong in all areas of both his apprenticeship and job role and can produce work to an exceptionally high standard.

Due to his success, not only will Taylor be an Apprenticeship Ambassador for Creative Alliance, he will also be offered a permanent position with Updates Media upon completion of his apprenticeship, so that he can continue to play an important role within the team.