Get ready for National Apprenticeship Week 2024, which is taking place from February 5th to 11th! This government-sponsored event is a week-long celebration uniting businesses and apprentices across the UK, highlighting the transformative impact of apprenticeships on individuals, businesses, and the broader economy.
This occasion serves as a reminder of how apprenticeships can equip individuals with lasting skills that prove advantageous to both themselves and the businesses that nurture their development.
Research suggests that the majority of individuals contemplate their career paths at the start of the year, particularly in January and early February. In light of this, it’s an ideal time for organisations to showcase their apprenticeship opportunities and share their commitment to nurturing the future workforce.
In this blog we’ll explore the benefits of apprenticeships and guide you through the strategies and best practices for attracting more apprentices to your business.
- The purpose of apprenticeships
- Why colleges should provide apprenticeship opportunities
- Why businesses should hire apprentices
- Tips to promote apprenticeships
- How and where to advertise apprenticeships
- How LOCALiQ can help you
The purpose of apprenticeships
Apprenticeships play a crucial role in bridging the gap between education and employment, benefiting individuals, businesses, and the broader economy. They are a means of acquiring essential skills, improving workforce productivity, and creating opportunities for personal and professional growth.
These programs offer individuals a structured pathway into a career, a way to learn and earn simultaneously. They also offer numerous benefits to colleges and businesses alike, contributing to the development of a skilled workforce, stronger industry connections, and improved educational outcomes. By training apprentices, colleges attract more students, and by hiring apprentices’ businesses can ensure a steady supply of skilled workers. Furthermore, individuals who choose an apprenticeship will do so without potential student loans and future debt of up to £50k+.
Why colleges should provide apprenticeship opportunities
Colleges should offer apprentice opportunities to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical skills, ensuring graduates are well-equipped for the demands of the professional world.
- Apprenticeship programs align college curriculum with industry needs, preparing graduates for the workforce and increasing their employability.
- Alignment with industry demands improves graduate employment rates, enhancing the college’s reputation and appeal to potential students.
- Apprenticeships cater to individuals seeking practical, hands-on learning experiences, potentially leading to increased enrolment rates.
Why businesses should hire apprentices
Apprenticeship programs allow businesses to tailor the training to their specific needs, ensuring that apprentices are equipped with the skills required for their job roles.
- Apprentices can contribute fresh perspectives and innovative ideas.
- Hiring apprentices helps businesses develop a skilled, loyal, and innovative workforce, contributing to long-term success in the market.
- Businesses gain a consistent supply of skilled workers, minimising recruitment, and onboarding costs.
- Apprenticeships offer cost-effective training, allowing learning while working, and reducing the need for extensive training periods.
- Apprenticeship programs increase the likelihood of retention and brand advocacy which led to decreasing turnover rates. One study found that a huge 85% of apprentices stay in employment, and 64% of these continue working with the same employer.
Tips to promote apprenticeships
In this section, we’re giving you a comprehensive array of strategies and best practices tailored to help your business effectively promote its apprenticeship program.
From leveraging digital platforms and creating engaging content to partnering with educational institutions, these tips aim to guide your business in expanding its reach and attracting candidates eager to embark on a journey of learning, growth, and professional development.
First things first, prep is key! Before you start planning how and where you want to advertise your apprenticeship, you first need to decide what you are offering, and to whom!
1. Consider your audience
Ensure that your marketing strategy aligns with your target audience by keeping them top of mind. Often, apprenticeships appeal to young individuals who are just finishing their education and are seeking practical experience or an alternative to traditional higher education.
Many young individuals may be unfamiliar with apprenticeships and what they entail. Therefore, it’s crucial to provide as much information as possible, highlighting the skills gained and how the apprenticeship aligns with their career goals.
Answering common questions asked by prospective apprentices plays a pivotal role in addressing their uncertainties and providing essential insights. Some common questions include:
- Where can I find an apprenticeship?
- When should I apply for an apprenticeship?
- How will an apprenticeship allow me to progress within my career?
- What might a typical week be like as an apprentice?
- How long does it take to complete?
- What happens when the apprenticeship comes to an end?
Addressing these questions within marketing materials, helps apprentices gain clarity and confidence in finding the right apprenticeship for them.
Top tip: Use our free buyer personas guide and template to personalise your content to your target audience.
2. Create a compelling job description
Regardless of your business and industry, you must craft a clear, engaging job description to clearly outline the responsibilities, learning opportunities, benefits, and potential career paths within the apprenticeship program.
Businesses should create job descriptions which not only articulate the responsibilities but also the support available through their apprenticeship programs. This detailed information helps attract the right candidates and sets clear expectations for the role.
Below are 6 essential details that should be included in the job description:
1. Job title and responsibilities
Clearly state the job title and provide a brief description of the role, including its purpose within the company. Detail the specific tasks and responsibilities the apprentice will be expected to perform, as well as the duration of the apprenticeship, whether it’s a fixed period or ongoing.
2. Learning objectives
Clearly outline the knowledge and the skills the apprentice will acquire and develop during the program, as well as how they align with the job role.
3. Required qualifications and experience
Clearly define the necessary qualifications, such as educational background, certifications, skills, or any prior experience required to be eligible for the apprenticeship.
4. Promote the support you offer
It’s not just about the training, it is equally important to promote the support you have on offer, including mentoring, supervision, and access to resources. This not only reassures candidates but also helps to alleviate uncertainties.
5. Future career opportunities
Outline the post-program expectations for apprentices. Detail the potential career progressions, including possibilities for a full-time role, additional training, or advancement opportunities within the company.
6. Application Process
Clearly explain how candidates can apply for the apprenticeship, the deadline, and any specific requirements, such as submitting a resume, cover letter, or portfolio.
How and where to advertise apprenticeships
Now that we have established who we are targeting and what information to include, we can start to think about how and where to advertise your apprenticeship offerings.
Businesses looking to advertise their apprenticeship opportunities effectively should employ a multi-faceted approach, utilising various online and offline channels and methods to reach and attract potential candidates.
Online marketing is an ideal way to promote apprenticeships due to its wide reach and accessibility. Using digital channels allows businesses to target a diverse audience, spanning across various demographics and geographic locations, increasing the visibility of apprenticeship opportunities to a broader pool of potential candidates.
Your website acts as a central platform for potential candidates to access further information, so it is important it contains a dedicated section or page describing the opportunities, benefits, and how to apply. This can then be used as the landing page within your digital advertising campaign.
UCAS is a UK-based organisation primarily known for managing applications to higher education institutions. But, it also offers a platform for advertising and promoting apprenticeships via their website (ucas.com).
With access to over 700,000 young people annually, UCAS is a reputable and accessible platform for showcasing apprenticeship programs. You can list your apprenticeship vacancies for free on the Career Finder, and set up an employer profile to describe your business.
With over 57 million active users in the UK alone, social media is another powerful channel for promoting apprenticeship opportunities. These platforms particularly resonate with Gen Z and Millennials making it the perfect way to engage and connect with indiciduals actively seeking career opportunities.
Platforms like LinkedIn, X (Twitter), and industry-related groups on Facebook provide extensive reach due to their high user engagement, and targeting capabilities. These platforms not only allow for direct job postings but also provide a space for engaging content.
How to Master Paid Social Media Advertising
Learn how to select the right channels to grow your business, set social media marketing goals and measure your return on investment.
Content marketing is another powerful way for businesses to educate and engage their audience. By creating informative content—such as articles, videos, or guides—businesses can showcase the value of their apprenticeship programs. It also provides the perfect opportunity to address common queries and provide insight into the skills and experiences apprentices can gain.
This approach not only builds brand credibility but also serves as a resource hub for individuals seeking detailed information about the apprenticeship.
Here are some ideas of engaging content you can share:
- Success stories
- Day-in-the-life content from current or past apprentices
Top tip: Incorporate organic keywords seamlessly into your website content and online materials to enhance your ranking in organic search engine results and boost traffic to your site.
At LOCALiQ our large and engaged audiences are a perfect platform to extend your content outside of publishing on your own sites or blogs. Leveraging our trusted brands, our editorial expertise and our social media brands means you can drive further engagement in your content.
Many individuals start looking for upcoming career moves through search engines (such as Google and Bing), creating an opportunity for pay-per-click (PPC) and search marketing. Employing a paid search strategy means your apprenticeship openings will appear when someone conducts a related search, linking directly to more details on your website.
If you’re interested in mastering the art of running a successful paid search campaign, check out this insightful blog on how to successfully run a paid search campaign. Or, if you’re in need of some inspiration here are 5 examples of effective paid search advertising campaigns.
Display ads are another effective way to reach potential candidates through engaging visuals and targeted messaging. Utilising the space on popular websites enables you to target your ideal customer with custom-built online ads and increase your website traffic and conversions.
At LOCALiQ, we offer you the chance to be seen by your perfect audience across Newsquest and industry leading side platforms to programmatically extend your reach off our network, covering the UK and your local area. Learn more about our display advertising services here.
In an era where visual content is widely consumed and shared, video marketing not only enhances the visibility of apprenticeship openings but also provides a memorable and impactful way to communicate key messages to your target audience. Videos offer a dynamic and engaging medium to showcase the company culture, work environment, and the day-to-day experiences of apprentices. This visual storytelling help potential candidates gain a genuine sense of what it’s like to work for your organisation, fostering a stronger connection and attracting individuals who resonate with the company values.
As a video marketing agency, we specialise in assisting businesses in establishing and showcasing their brand. We collaborate with you to understand who you are and what you do, then create a bespoke video that tells your story.
Curious about how LOCALiQ Video can benefit your business? Watch our showreel below to see how we can elevate your brand through compelling visuals.
Whilst online marketing is great for targeted ads and expansive reach, offline methods such as job fairs and traditional advertising provide a personal touch and engagement within the local community.
Consider exploring these offline avenues to broaden your outreach.
1. Connect with educational institutions
If your target market is typically students, then it is a good idea to partner with some of the local educational institutions in your area. By collaborating with schools, colleges, and training centres you can give presentations, career guidance sessions or host workshops to showcase the benefits and opportunities available for students within your company.
It is advisable to attend industry-specific networking events to showcase apprenticeship opportunities and interact with potential candidates. Job fairs, conferences, or trade fairs provide ideal settings for introducing apprenticeship opportunities to a motivated audience.
Businesses can also partner with industry-related associations or chambers of commerce to tap into their networks and gain exposure among professionals already engaged or interested in the field.
Exploiting your current employee base, or alumni of the apprenticeship program, can also be a fruitful method for reaching potential candidates. Creating referral incentives can encourage existing employees or past apprentices to spread the word and refer suitable candidates.
We also recommend using traditional advertising methods such as newspapers, and industry publications to reach a wider audience. Start by identifying the key newspapers or magazines in your industry and local area, then create a press release outlining the apprenticeship opportunities you have on offer.
At LOCALiQ our UK publications are ready to give you a head start. LOCALiQ’s premium local newspaper sites are up to 3x more effective at driving leads to your business. Learn more about our print advertising services here.
How LOCALiQ can help you
At LOCALiQ, we have a proven track record of linking employers and training providers with apprentices. By partnering with us, an affordable, award-winning, full-service digital marketing agency, we will help your business to find suitable apprentices in your local area.
And… For the first time ever, we are offering a unique sponsorship opportunity incorporating not only our effective advertising solutions, but also Q&A video production and editorial coverage for businesses wanting to promote their apprentice openings.
As part of Newsquest Media Group, the UK’s leading local publisher, we combine best-in-class marketing technology with award-winning journalism and community connections across 200+ news brands nationwide.
With 35+ locations in the UK, our team of digital marketing experts are ready to provide your business with in-depth marketing support through industry-leading PPC campaign management, professional SEO and web design services, and paid social and display advertising – we’ve got it all covered. Plus, you can monitor it all via our exclusive marketing analytics tool Client Centre. Watch our latest video and discover how our in-depth reporting and analytics technology will help your business.
If you’d like further support or advice on promoting your apprenticeship opportunities, contact us today for a free consultation! Let’s talk about how we can make your goals a reality.