Championing Apprenticeships – A view from a 2015 Creative Pioneer 13 April 2015

Apprenticeships within the creative industry are still relatively low-key and we want to do as much as we can to promote them. To mark National Apprenticeship Week we wanted to find out what attracts young talent to the industry and demonstrate the benefits of apprenticeships.

We did a quick-fire Q&A with our apprentice Kieran Haddock to share the effect schemes like Creative Pioneers can have.

What were you doing before you became an apprentice?

Before embarking on the Creative Pioneers scheme, I was undertaking some marketing internships in a mix of consumer focused companies and retail outlets – with a few call centres in between! I always knew I wanted to cut my teeth in the industry, but I didn’t know how to go about it.

How did you find out about Creative Pioneers?

After being in the working world for a few years, I knew that I wanted to find an opportunity that would incorporate time in the workplace, which I already knew I enjoyed, and an element of theoretical training, so I decided to look into apprenticeships. After seeing the scheme proudly on the front on the Metro newspaper one morning with it’s esthetic branding, curiously I decided to take the leap and apply.

What was the application process like?

After hearing horror stories from my university graduate friends about gruelling assessment days, I prepared myself for a Hunger Games style initiation process. Ready to battle until the end, I donned my most suitable interview attire and headed to the IPA’s offices for the assessment day.

To my pleasant surprise, all of the managers from Creative Pioneers and the assessors from the learning provider, Creative Process, were very approachable and really made me feel at ease. After group introductions, icebreakers, and a group interview, we were tasked with devising our own advertising campaign for a consumer product or brand. Working in groups of 4, we had a short 30 minutes to devise a strategy, flesh out a campaign and then present it to the rest of the candidates and assessors. Thankfully our group was spared a grilling from Creative Process director Andrew Carmichael, who luckily liked our presentation. A few days later, I’d found out I had been successful in securing an interview for my first choice Living Group.

What attracted you to the creative industry?

I’ve always been interested in the way companies, brands and products are communicated to an audience, so to work in the industry has always been appealing. The creative sector is brilliant because it brings ideas to life, and features many elements, such as design, communication, branding and marketing – things I am eager to learn more about.

What has been the highlight of you apprenticeship so far?

Although I’m only half way through my yearlong apprenticeship, the amount of things that I have achieved has been quite significant. From entering the business with only a few weeks industry experience, I have progressed to performing account executive duties within the Client Services team. I now help manage the internal production on campaigns and I’m well on my way to managing whole projects. Client Services duties aside, my proudest moment was appearing in a national press campaign for the Creative Pioneers scheme in the Metro newspaper, recruiting for next year’s cohort. However this was tinged with a truly bittersweet feeling, as the photo featured me with an awful moronic grin and a cartoon cut out brain! I’m sure the pictures will haunt me at birthdays and weddings for years to come.

What do you want to do after your apprenticeship?

At the moment, I am unsure of what discipline in the creative industries to pursue, as I am interested in copywriting, marketing, strategy and client services. Regardless of which route I will take, I am committed to forging a long term career in the sector. It was only until I started working in an integrated consultancy that I realised the breadth of opportunities and varying roles that are available.

Any advice you'd give to anyone considering an apprenticeship?

Just go for it! If you’re looking to get a step ahead in the workplace and are looking to learn new skills and put them directly into practice, it is the perfect opportunity to do so. If you are unsure about university, or still want to apply yourself yet would prefer a non-academic route, there are many vocational and practical apprenticeships available. Learning through an apprenticeship at work provides the best arena to ask questions, learn by example and get inspired by high flyers in the working world. I couldn’t recommend it enough!  

You can find out more about Kieran’s experience as an apprentice here

KieranHaddockWebsite