How to apply for a digital apprenticeship

So you’re ready to embark on a career in the digital sector. But where to start? The adage goes ‘practical learning trumps book learning’, so what better way to get your foot in the door than with an apprenticeship?

Here are some pointers to help you along your working way.

go to overview
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The Universal Rules of Apprenticeships

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Get
organised

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Get to know people
in the office

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Don't be afraid
to ask for help

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Learn from
senior colleagues

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Have a great
attitude

Digital Sector Growth

270 company icons

= 1000 pieces

At least  270,000  companies
make up the digital economy.

Non-digital company picture

Revenue reported by digital companies
is growing 25%
faster
than that of
non-digital companies.

On average, digital employers hire three
more people
than non-digital employers.

+3 people

Digital company picture

Apprenticeships Are Growing, Too…

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868,700 people were in an apprenticeship in 2012/2013

2009/10
18%
2012/13
45% of apprenticeship
starters are now
over 25 years
of age

£170 million
of extra funding was announced

in the 2014 Budget to encourage small
businesses to take on more apprentices.

Which Digital Role Is For Me?

I am...
Meticulously attentive to details
I'm more...
Analytical
I'm interested in...
How things work
How people work
Free-thinking
I prefer...
Both words and pictures
Pictures
Words
Creative
I'm more about...
The look, feel and overall experience of things
Reading and writing the story
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Development
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software engineer
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programmer
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analyst
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database expert
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backend specialist
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Development
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Marketing
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social media manager
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seo specialist
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digital marketing executive
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email marketer
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planner
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Marketing
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Design
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digital designer
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illustrator
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web designer
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motion graphics designer
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ui/ux designer
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Design
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Content
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digital producer
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editor
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copywriter
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Researcher
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online content manager
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Content

Expert Advice: Key Personality Traits

Development

Those who work in Development combine a love of learning with an eagle eye for detail. Naturally logical, they like to pull things apart and put them together again. If you regularly ask “How does it work?”, then Development is your calling.

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software engineer
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programmer
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analyst
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database expert
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backend specialist
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Be
curious

Look ‘beneath the surface’
of everything you do.

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Develop logic
and reasoning skills

Developers are constant
problem-solvers.

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Attend
to detail

Those who notice small details
tend to be more productive than
their less detail-oriented cousins.

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Learn
independently

Have initiative and
teach yourself new skills.

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Be
adaptable

Specifications can often change
several times, especially with
long-term projects. The ability
to be able to adapt is essential
to getting the job done.

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Matt Sawyer

Head of Digital Marketing Datadial

“We look for people who demonstrate a passion for the industry; those who read industry blogs and write their own; those who have their own test sites, projects, tools, etc.

It isn’t important that what you’re doing is 100% correct. We can teach that. What is important is that you’re motivated and have a passion for the industry.”
Interested? What Next? Not Interested? Try Again?

Marketing

Marketing specialists are big-picture folks. They use the creative and analytical sides of the brain. Generally, they’re used to charming people and knowing all the details about the next big digital trend before anyone else in the office.

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social media manager
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seo specialist
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digital marketing executive
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email marketer
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planner
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Be
adaptable

In a pressured and evolving
industry, you need a flexible
attitude to survive.

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Think
analytically

Companies need individuals
who are able to make sense of an
increasing amount of available data.

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Think
creatively

New ideas are needed
to harness the ever-emerging
technologies.

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Be
curious

Always be on the lookout
for the next big thing.

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Keep
learning

Keep abreast of industry
developments to avoid being
left behind.

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Have
business acumen

Understand how your job
affects the company as a whole.

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Andy Travers

Operations Director Caliber

“On agency-side, it’s all about adding value. As an intern, if you can bring something to the table that helps an agency’s clients achieve their objectives – share content, drive traffic, improve conversion – you’ll quickly make yourself indispensable.”
Interested? What Next? Not Interested? Try Again?

Design

Designers see the world in Technicolor and have endless imaginative scope. They thrive on vibrant visual expression. The best designers are open-minded collaborative types – they can take criticism and distance themselves from their layouts when needed.

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digital designer
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illustrator
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web designer
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motion graphics designer
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ui/ux designer
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Be
an artist

You should be able to see each job
as a work of art rather than just
the next thing on your to-do list.

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Think
creatively

Work with an audience and message
in mind, but don’t be afraid of
experimenting with your techniques.

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Be
open-minded

This will help you uncover new skills,
new projects and new opportunities.

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Be able
to take criticism

Learn to distance yourself from your
work in order to get better at your craft.

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Non Wood

Design Director NeoMam Studios

“We look for initiative and talent in our potential design interns. Evidence of motivation, a unique design style and an eagerness to learn are a great start.

Sample commercial projects in your portfolio also help us see how you would approach a live project.”
Interested? What Next? Not Interested? Try Again?

Content

Content specialists are nimble-minded word gymnasts who likely started out life telling tall tales to a captive audience. They understand branding and the finer points of grammar, as well as how to pay detailed attention to client briefs.

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digital producer
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editor
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copywriter
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researcher
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online content manager
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Be a
storyteller

You need to be able to create
content in a fresh and engaging way.

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Have a
personal brand

Find a unique angle to help
you stand out in the industry.

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Stay on top
of trends

Read widely from a variety of sources
to see what is the next big thing.

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Have a voice,
but also listen

You need to be able to listen to clients,
competitors and influencers and know how
to adapt in a constantly evolving industry.

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Gus Ferguson

Founder The Tetrad Consultancy

Start a blog. It’s basically a supercharged CV demonstrating skills and character.

Think about it: your personal brand is your first, and will be your last, content marketing client. It’s a lifelong campaign, and without a platform to tell your story that you control, you’re missing a big trick.”
Interested? What Next? Not Interested? Try Again?

Practical Actions for All Apprentices to Take

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Network

Engage, whether by social media
or at industry events.

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Learn to embrace
failure

… and how to persevere
when things get tough.

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Plan ahead

The skills you learn now could
prove crucial in the years ahead,
so learn as much as you can.

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Research
the industry

The industry is evolving quickly, with new and exciting jobs emerging all the time, so keep an open mind in the search for a permanent job, and talk to as many people in the sector as you can.

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Read

If you are looking to get a permanent job in the sector, read as much as you can that has been written by people who are already working in the sector, and learn as much as you can from them.

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Write as much
as you can

Even outside your apprenticeship, you should try to write a blog and set yourself deadlines on it so you are constantly challenging yourself and improving.

The digital industry is a friendly, young and dynamic one.

It is also a growing sector, and companies are looking for motivated individuals from a variety of backgrounds.

So, why not be proactive? Prove your passion by reaching out to those in the
sector.

Email Us
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