Apprenticeships contribute hugely to the UK economy and can benefit SME's not only in the short term but be a contributing factor to a company's long term future. As a business that avidly supports the National Apprenticeship Service and the benefits it offers young people we have recently hired our first two apprentices. In this weeks blog Ciprian and Scott, our Overthrow apprentices, talk about their previous experiences and why they chose an apprenticeship as their preferred route for future development.
Choosing to start my career as an apprentice was probably one of the best decisions I have made so far. It all started the same, like a lot of teens in my generation - young, full of potential, loads of confidence and at the same time unemployed and with little experience. Since I was little I was fascinated by computers and the magic it allows you to do at the press of a button. I grew up and the child’s play was over.
Previously I was working as a steel erecter in the construction industry. It was an interesting job with loads of challenges at every step. I liked to see the job as a giant 3D puzzle game. Even though I kept an open mind, deep down I knew this was a temporary job. I simply couldn’t see myself in 5 years time working on a construction site. The best thing I could dream of was to take one of my passions and turn it into a job.
Even with the little experience I had, I thought I could find a job in no time. I was wrong. The competition was at a higher level than I expected and it was proving a frustrating experience. After speaking to some friends, they convinced me the best route for me would be an apprenticeship.
While attending university can get you a degree, many find that they are not working in their desired field within a year of graduating. The main goal of apprenticeships is to earn while you learn, helping to find younger people a job while at the same time learning the skills required for the specific field they are working in. That is why I found that an apprenticeship suited me more than a degree at university level.
The recruitment procedure went faster than I had imagined and soon I started working with Overthrow Digital. They are an award-winning digital design agency based in Finsbury Park, London. As well as building a large variety of websites, they also provide social media campaigns, online promotion, email marketing and SEO and PPC campaigns.
So, here was I at my first day of work. After I’d gone through my induction, learned the specific processes and background of the company and the clients they work with I was presented to the team and was pleased to find that they are some of the nicest people I have met. Very professional, ready to help you whenever you have any issues and some great buddies to chat too as well.
My first few weeks were better than I could ever have expected. I spent most of the time getting familiarised with various Content Management System's and processes doing some small jobs to get into the swing of things. Later I was told that they “didn’t want to scare me right from the start” and assigned me some simple tasks to ease me into the role.
Since then, everything has gone smoothly and the work has become really diverse and challenging. I have learnt loads of new skills in a very short space of time, all of which will benefit me hugely in my future development and I am looking forward to a long lasting career with Overthrow.
I recently experienced a huge change in lifestyle with the start of an apprenticeship at Overthrow Digital that has been both greatly challenging and rewarding.
Throughout my education (from school to university) I have always studied some form of Music and Media as my passion lied in post-production sound design.
Leaving university I had a strong idea of what I wanted to do as a career but no real knowledge of how to get started. After a series of poor advice and misguided ventures I lost a lot of confidence in my capabilities and drive towards my desired career.
There are a lot of factors that contributed to this that stem from my misconceived expectations. Employers were not, for the most part, interested in education but rather experience and portfolio of work. Then there is that enduring question “How do I gain experience when employers won’t give me the chance?”.
My passion for the industry remains but as more of a hobby and it shares the space with my newly rediscovered interests. As discussed earlier I also studied media, which opened me up to the worlds of marketing, design and consumerism. A lot of what I learnt I now realise make up parts of the UX design process.
While looking more into this my eyes were opened really wide to a whole new world of possibilities. Through some chance encounters and a few networking opportunities I met a representative of Tech Up Nation who are an apprenticeship provider. Through their programme I started my apprenticeship with Overthrow Digital.
Overthrow Digital is a business development agency that provides a range of services to help SME and start-up companies grow. These services include designing responsive and engaging experiences for users, building cutting edge systems for businesses, developing tailored digital marketing strategies, and supporting businesses with the maintenance of these services amongst many others.
Within my role at Overthrow I have the opportunity to explore a vast amount of projects and tasks where no two days are the same. Just within a month I have used and learnt skills in web and app development, sound design, communication, content management, project management and much more.
The team at Overthrow are a highly friendly and welcoming group of people each with a rich history within the digital sector. Bringing their wealth of knowledge to create a truly effective and collaborative environment not only for working but also for learning. Everyone is really supportive in my development and entrust me with delivering on important tasks, always challenging me to be more efficient and effective within my role. Not only am I constantly learning new things but have also regained a lot of confidence and motivation.
As a part of the apprenticeship I attend regular classes at college. Although these lessons are great at providing the basic and theoretical knowledge, I feel that I learn most while at Overthrow. At Overthrow I gain a practical knowledge and, more importantly, understanding with the use of ‘real world’ projects. In fact, I usually gain experience in a topic at Overthrow before they teach it at college making my studies a lot easier.
With the recent explosion in growth of the tech and digital sector, there is a need for more people with the right skill set. This apprenticeship allows people like me, who either are crossing over from another sector or have little to no experience, to gain access and build a career while learning the trade. These types of programmes are not only beneficial to apprentices but also the employers.
Check out all the different services that Overthrow Digital offer here