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With ever-increasing university fees and a demand for relevant work experience, there are great opportunities for companies to run apprentice schemes and for students to take part.
Following the recent government introduction of an apprenticeship levy, from 6 April 2017, if a company has a salary bill over £3 million, contribution to the apprenticeship levy is compulsory.
While contribution is compulsory, employing an apprentice is not. However, things look to be heading in that direction. At Design Portfolio we always look to embrace new regulations ahead of time, particularly if we feel this will add real value. We believe that apprenticeships can help to increase efficiency, provide a platform to nurture and for future growth and, therefore, enhance productivity and improve the workplace culture. The apprentice, in turn, should learn something new, working with an experienced team to develop their skills.
With that in mind, Design Portfolio has recently introduced our first apprenticeship scheme. Our first position is a business administration apprenticeship working alongside Hertfordshire Regional College.
Meet Abigail Coggin: the newest member of Design Portfolio and our first apprentice.
We sat down with Abi to get an idea of how she feels about the apprenticeship and being part of agency life so far.
Abi, what made you chose an apprenticeship at Design Portfolio?
"At the beginning of February I was able to do a couple of weeks; work experience on reception. When I was here I spoke to Alison, the Finance Director, about how I was looking to start an apprenticeship, which is when she mentioned the opportunity. We then spoke about starting on a business admin. level 3 course, alongside my local college.”
Sounds like it was meant to be! So, what have you enjoyed so far?
“For me, working at a communications agency has been a new experience as I’ve always been at school. I’ve enjoyed the variation of tasks I’ve had to take on, as it means I’m always learning new things. Despite it being my first proper job, I feel as though I have settled in well. The team has been very nice and have made me feel very welcome. By working with people who are older than me, my social skills have improved as I’m in a more professional environment than school and the atmosphere feels very respectful.”
Do you think apprenticeships are a good opportunity for young people?
"I do think theyre good opportunities as learning in a classroom from a textbook and lectures doesnt suit everyone. In a way, I think it can be better than furthering education through A-levels or a college course as you get experience of working in the industry. I think the biggest bonus of an apprenticeship is being able to receive the academic qualifications whilst getting experience on the job. Also, no student debt!"
Good points, Abi.
We are very excited to have Abi as part of the team and look forward to further developing the apprenticeship scheme across other departments within the business.
If you would like to know more about the culture at Design Portfolio or the career opportunities we have available, look out for our blogs or get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.