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Customer says apprenticeship experience ‘worth its weight in gold’

As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2021, we spoke to one of our customers who’s been helped by our Employment and Skills Team to secure an apprenticeship in her chosen industry. Julie Walton has said the opportunities presented by apprenticeships make them an attractive route into employment…

“The experience is worth its weight in gold.”

Those are the thoughts of a Longhurst Group customer who worked with our Employment and Training Advisor Rob Friday to secure an apprenticeship in her chosen career.

Julie Walton, 45, from Loughborough, had a long-held ambition to work in Digital Media and Marketing, but admitted she kept hitting stumbling blocks due to a lack of in-situ experience in an agency, albeit having qualifications, a portfolio of work and studied for relevant courses.

But, after working with Rob to re-shape her CV, come to terms with being honest about her situation and improving her application, she’s now taken up an apprenticeship with a digital marketing agency.

Julie said: “I’d been looking for work, but I was hitting a bit of a block because I didn’t have certificates or qualifications.

“I was sat on my sofa in a ‘head in your hands’ situation wondering about where I went from there, but I had a lightbulb moment and knew I had to keep on trying.

I picked up the phone, spoke to Rob and it was fabulous from there on in really. We re-did my CV and worked on applications and now I’m in my apprenticeship.

“I’d been looking towards an apprenticeship despite them often being geared towards younger people. I felt it’d be a route into the industry and, even though it’s not highly paid, the experience you’re going to get with mentors and tutors, and the experience of actually being situated in a marketing and digital media agency is second to none and it’s worth its weight in gold.

“My apprenticeship itself touches on all aspects of the industry, including analytics, SEO, internet marketing, copy writing, content writing, social media marketing, research and portfolio development which is what I’ve been working towards.

“As soon as I got there, I felt at home and that it was for me, so I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship, even if you’re an older person and whatever situation you’re in because at the end of the day, it’s one year of hard work and some exams to get into a career that you really want.”

Julie said her working relationship with Rob had been productive and revealed that they’re still in touch now.

“There’s still ongoing contact and I’d just like to say thank you very much,” she added.

At the end of the day, I approached him for some help and I got the help I needed with no cost involved.

“One thing he asked me was how I felt on a scale of one to 10 and back then I said two. Now it’s more like an 11.

“To go from two to 11, there’s a big thank you needed there.”

To find out more about the Employment and Skills Team, click here or call us on 0300 123 1745.

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