From education to employment

New Greater Manchester Apprenticeship initiative enjoys success

Creative industries and Apprenticeship support agencies in Greater Manchester have pooled their resources to create Apprenticeships in the creative sector for young people.

The Creative Break Apprenticeship Programme aims to generate vacancies within the creative sector and to “redress the imbalance by recruiting and training administration apprentices specifically for the creative industries”.

The new programme was launched on June 14 and in less than a month already had interest from 80 potential employers looking to recruit one or more apprentice, and over 170 apprentices.

The new scheme, which has been primarily funded by Skills Solution and has supported by the National Apprenticeship Service and the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, has already gained praise from apprentices.

Vicky Parry, who considered university before becoming an administrative apprentice said, “I’d never considered an Apprenticeship but as I found out more about what was involved, I quickly realised that it was the perfect option for me – I would be getting paid to learn while gaining invaluable experience in the creative industry and I’ve have a nationally recognised qualification under my belt.

“Nowadays you feel like the odd one out if you don’t go to university and I got caught up in the midst of it all and found myself accepting a position to study in a city miles away from home.”

Apprentices receive training and a nationally recognised qualification based on an assessment of their progress within the workplace, as well as the work experience they gain while employed as an apprentice.

The apprentices will be given training in essential skills vital for working in agency or marketing departments, such as telephone answering and Microsoft software training.

Apprenticeships have grown in popularity over recent years, however, there has always been a lack of opportunity for bright young individuals in creative agencies and marketing departments.

The new initiative will pay for candidates to study for a business administration Apprenticeship while gaining invaluable on the job experience, and in return employers will benefit from hiring an administration Apprenticeship for as little as £5,000 per year.

Mark Critchley, marketing director of SSL International and a member of the Creative Break Advisory Panel, said: “Making the best use of all available talent is how businesses thrive, especially those in the creative sector.

“The Creative Break programme is a no-brainer for any business which could benefit from additional admin support for busy creative teams and, let’s face it, who couldn’t? It’s a great opportunity for employers and offers young people a fantastic break into one of the best sectors available – a classic win-win.”

Mark Astley

(Pictured: Administrative apprentice Vicky Parry)

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