Marketing leaders urged to show support for apprenticeships

As the £3,000 government incentive for taking on an apprentice nears its end, the School of Marketing is encouraging marketers to support alternative routes into the industry.

apprenticeIndustry leaders are being urged to show their support for marketing apprenticeships before the government’s £3,000 employer bonus ends next month.

Skills-based marketing education organisation the School of Marketing is challenging marketers to raise awareness of the importance of apprenticeships before the £3,000 incentive for employers taking on a new apprentice ends on 30 September.

Crucially, anybody on the government’s Kickstart scheme – which offers people aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit a placement for six months – can also be converted onto an apprenticeship and the employer will receive the £3,000 bonus.

School of Marketing founder Ritchie Mehta points out that if a brand is thinking of taking on a new marketing apprentice there is no better time than now while the financial incentive is still available.

He also highlights the many young people on the Kickstart scheme who are approaching the end of their six-month placement, meaning they will effectively be out of a job, which makes the apprenticeship route a “fantastic way” for an employer to keep them on.

To get the news out, marketers are being asked to record a 30-second video explaining the importance of apprenticeships, which mentions the £3,000 government bonus, and then post it on their brand’s social media channels. The post will also be shared by the School of Marketing.

There are loads of super talented young people looking for great opportunities and it just feels like the time is right to act.

Ritchie Mehta, School of Marketing

The message in the video could touch on why helping young people to find opportunities is key, especially given the disruption to careers caused by the pandemic. The idea is to position apprenticeships as a great way to learn and earn, which will add immediate value to a business and create opportunities for young people.

“There is no better time to employ a young person as an apprentice than right now,” says Mehta. “There are loads of super talented young people looking for great opportunities and it just feels like the time is right to act if you want to help the industry and help your organisation.”

The crisis in early careers is a pressing one. By May last year, 26% of students had lost an internship and 28% had their graduate job deferred or rescinded, according to data from graduate career specialist Prospects. While brands such as Unilever, Henkel and Britvic have continued to bring graduates into the business, some companies have struggled to pivot to a virtual process.

Meet the brands refusing to let Covid derail their talent pipeline

Other organisations have found new ways to keep their talent pipeline flowing, such as P&G which next month will welcome its first cohort of four degree apprentices into the UK commercial function, a programme which will include a nine-month rotation in marketing.

The industry has also thrown its support behind young people via the School of Marketing’s Mentoring Gen Z initiative. Launched just eight months ago, the scheme to help 16- to 28-year-olds learn more about a career in marketing has smashed all targets.

Some 500 young people have already taken part in the free weekly mentoring sessions, with more than 50 potential mentees typically signing up each week. The aim is to reach 5,000 mentees over the next 12 months, with a view to helping them find a route into marketing.

A host of high-profile marketing mentors have taken part so far, including ex-Unilever CMO Keith Weed, Boots CMO Pete Markey and Nando’s chief customer officer Sarah Warby. The 90-minute sessions are now booked up for mentors as far out as February 2022.

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