From education to employment

Family-run brand agency has the values needed to see apprentices soar

Dedicated to breeding specialists in a variety of areas, this National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) leading East-Midlands-based brand agency, Champions (UK) plc, celebrates the success of their apprentices.

With a unique approach to business and boasting a £30 million turnover with eyes firmly set on a £50 million target by 2021, there’s no limits to what the agency can offer apprentices and it’s no surprise that they have become the business of choice for local apprentices looking to gain industry-relevant skills.

Apprentices joining Champions have and continue to enjoy the choice of the 10 business centres the company offers, which include: creative, digital, marketing, PR, media, events, publishing, advertising, celebrity and web.

While Champions has been supporting apprenticeship schemes since their establishment in 2003, since 2016 the company has brought in, and retained, five apprentices, nurturing them through their apprenticeship role into a full-time position within the company.

One of the company’s former apprentices is Emma Richardson, 20, who joined Champions in August 2016 as a social media apprentice. After completing her apprenticeship, a year later, Emma was kept on and promoted to Influencer Executive, a role which now sees her help manage the company’s social media influencer department.

In line with this year’s NAW’s theme of ‘Apprenticeships Work’ Emma explained how an apprenticeship with Champions worked for her:

“The agency supported me throughout my apprenticeship, teaching me the skills I needed to pursue a career in the digital industry and gave me access to experts who helped me with all aspects of my apprenticeship modules. Dedicated to their employee’s development, not only did Champions nudge me in the right career direction, they have also given me more opportunities than any other 20-year old I know.”

Ross Barker, 22, is the last of the five apprentices to complete his SEO apprenticeship and hopes that come April will also become the fifth one to remain with the business.

Explaining his current apprenticeship, Ross said:

“Champions are a great company to work for, their culture for business is inspiring and everybody is friendly and supportive! The business is ahead of the times with a never-ending opportunity for skill development.”

Managing Director and co-founder of Champions (UK) plc, Matthew Hayes, has a set vision for the future of Champions, which he sees apprenticeships continuing to shape: “In 15 years we have taken our employee number from 8-80 – a number which is set to double over the next few years. With so much growth constantly fuelling the business, now is the time for apprentices to really kick-start their careers.”

He continued:

“With 80 experts in the building, learning and training opportunities are placed directly into the hands of apprentices, and it’s not just apprentices that learn from us. We are a business that pride ourselves on our innovative thinking and what our apprentices often bring a fresh new way of thinking and new ideas to the table.”

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