Thursday, June 20, 2013

And So To Work!

Helen has been offered a job! Or more accurately, an apprenticeship. In the UK most 18 year olds with the right qualifications move on to university, but faced with the prospect of repaying student loans for the next 30 years a growing number are choosing to go straight into work. In Helen's case the financial considerations were only a part of her decision not to go to uni. She prefers working to studying and is ready to get started on a career now.

The UK has a system of apprenticeships which allow companies to take on an apprentice at a (usually) nominal salary in return for providing training. Initially I think apprenticeships tended to be in more practical fields and geared to youngsters leaving school at 16. Now there seem to be a growing number of advanced apprenticeships and apprenticeships intended to lead into professional careers. The government has also put some money into promoting the provision of apprenticeships in areas where they think there are likely to be skill shortages.

The apprenticeship Helen has been offered is in digital marketing and is part of one of these schemes. A large technology firm has its own apprenticeship and training arm which has expanded to provide a number of digital marketing apprenticeships in partnership with other companies. The training organisation selects the apprentices, gives them initial training, and then places them in a partner company for a year. The apprentice is employed during that year by the partner, but is supported and mentored by the training company and spends one day a week there to study for a digital marketing qualification. The expectation is that at the end of their training apprentices will either be offered a job by their employer, or will be helped to find a suitable permanent job (or even to set up their own business) by the training company.

Getting a place on the scheme wasn't easy. They get a lot of applicants and Helen had to get through a phone interview and a three hour assessment which included group exercises, an individual interview and a demonstration of digital / media related work she has done. She loved the set up, said the people were all really nice - interviewers, existing apprentices and other applicants - and came home very much hoping they would take her, so she is hugely excited to have been offered the opportunity. The next step is to meet with prospective employers and get her work placement arranged. The aim is to match apprentices with companies that will be a good match for their particular skills. She has been told that she will get interviews with two or three, and that the process will be as much about deciding if they are right for her as the other way round. She will be working in London, and because she has to travel in from outside London they will try to put her with a company that is conveniently located for commuting

So all in all, VERY exciting times! We are very hopeful that it will be a good choice for her and that she will enjoy working in a fast paced, cutting edge media-techie field. I have to admit though, that the prospect of seeing my daughter heading off to commute to an office in London makes me feel very old!


ellie said...

Oh Bookworm, how amazing for her! Well done! Congratulations indeed!!

Caroline said...

That's excellent - no mean feat to get a job/apprenticeship in these hard times. Well done, Helen!

Missus Wookie said...

Oh how exciting! I've been dabbling in digital marketing but look forward to hearing more about what she's learned :)

Catherine said...

Ahh, this answers a lot of my questions from my email. CONGRATS to Helen on the job! That is so awesome! I hear you on feeling old. Lauren's been living on her own in Houston for the last 6 months, working two jobs and going to college. We ARE getting old, I guess. :)

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