On the job learning & Digital Apprentices – yep, it works …
Well I suppose you would expect me to say that. After all, one of the first things we show an employer of a digital apprentice is the training plan for the apprentice’s work based learning. So, what do I mean when I talk about work based learning.
It’s this: carrying out research, undertaking on line learning, participating in skype sessions, having 1:2:1 coaching conversations, completing presentations using the work they are doing for their employer … and all from their desk in their work place. Learning by doing, reflecting on what they have done and applying the lessons to the next time they have to do that aspect of the job. And they do this with my support as a Trainer / Assessor and their work based mentor / manager. And all this learning is validated by a qualification.
So, what’s the value in this?
Well when I first started working in Digital Marketing, the theory learnt at different educational institutes was there and it was useful to get me started. But I really made some mistakes. And that’s where I really learnt how to get results. Oscar Wilde said that experience is just mistakes made in the past. In the creative industries we put so much value in experience because we know how much you learn once you start actually start doing something AND reflecting on that doing.
Work Based Learning is about working in an environment that supports the fact you are learning. That can sound like a lot of work for an employer but that is where we come in. We support you, we mentor your learners and we make sure that they learn correctly and, when appropriate, we also teach them in a classroom. Just because we believe in Work Based Learning doesn’t mean that classroom teaching doesn’t have its value. All our digital and creative apprentices attend a series of seminars where we give them the essential underpinning theory and the opportunity to work with other apprentices from different workplaces. This gives them the opportunity to learn more about the wider industry. You yourself know how valuable would find meeting people in the similar job roles as you but at different places. It’s called developing business relationships – or networking!
And I have seen this work across lots of different businesses. Our employers include a lot of creative companies that have taken on apprentices’ year after year. And then there are jewellery companies, shoe companies, trophy companies and security companies all have digital roles within their business. It’s a whole mix and they are all developing their marketing and their business with apprentices.
If you want more information about apprenticeships look here