News | 13/11/2015

Life as a Digital Apprentice

Posted by Lawrence Greenlee

When I tell people that I am an apprentice, they assume that it is in something like hairdressing or bricklaying, but there are so many other industries which offer apprenticeship programmes from the creative media industry to finance. With tuition fees rising higher than ever and a whopping 58.8% of graduates ending up in low paid jobs it makes sense to apply for an apprenticeship programme.

After a few months of interning, writing, rewriting and re-rewriting my CV, I was lucky enough to be offered an apprenticeship with Cobb Digital.

I get paid £3.50 per hour that’s roughly £590 per month which, does seem like peanuts but my friends at university are losing £745 per month and that is without interest. Plus apprentices are only on this low salary for a year- while you are getting free training, one to one mentoring with real experts and at least a year’s experience in the work place, maybe even a full time job at the end of it.

Choosing an apprenticeship over university is not the easy option. You go from putting your hand up in class so you can go to the toilet to answering the office phone, speaking to clients and writing emails in a matter of months. On my apprenticeship with Cobb Digital, I work a 40 hour week minus one day leave for college at Creative Process and monthly assignments – so those Tequila Tuesdays at Pryzm will have to take a back seat for now.

Moreover, the idea that apprentices are only used to make tea and sort office admin is not true. I now have the responsibility of running three different client’s social media accounts and our own. These are real clients which make the company run. Of course you are going to make mistakes, especially if you are an apprentice because that is how most people learn but, it is a great feeling when you know that the work you are doing counts. I really can’t complain about the amount of support and guidance I get as an apprentice, it is brilliant. On top of the day to day support from your team, apprentices get weekly college lessons and an assessor will meet with you once a month to go over the work you have been doing and discuss which direction you want your career to head in.

To anyone considering not going to university and starting an apprenticeship, make sure you do it in something that you are passionate about. As an apprentice you have to juggle a lot of things, and the scheme is very competitive to get on. So do some research into what you think you might want to do, get some experience and show prospective employers how useful you will be!