Apprenticeships in the Design Industry
Last week our company made the decision to create two apprenticeship placements. It wasn't a spur of the moment thing, we have been discussing how the company could grow and since moving into a much bigger premises right in the heart of Leamington Spa we now had the space to play with.
I only stumbled upon the Creative Alliance whilst reading the Metro on my way to work. They help to bring together people looking to get into work with companies wanting to bring in fresh talent.
Having always associated apprenticeships with trades such as plumbers, electricians and mechanics, I had never really considered how the format would work in something like a Creative Agency.
We decided to advertise for a Graphic Designer and a Front End Dev role, so worked up the relevant descriptions and opted to set a price point above the base apprentice wage.
As the adverts went onto their website we thought it a good idea to share via Twitter and Facebook etc to increase the chances of that special someone stumbling across it.
What i wasn't expecting was a negative reaction from people.
"£3.50 an hour? OUCH!"
"it's asking them to create new graphics, develop ideas and add creative input! 140 a week for 40 hours, duuuuuddeeee."
There was good comments too but I was surprised that people would see it as a bad thing.
It is an alternative to doing a degree, and although the renumeration is low compared to even a Junior role it must be remembered that the person is coming on board without qualifications. It's working from the bottom up within a well established creative agency so it's a positive learning experience with a view you grow within the company into higher roles.
Of course we want an apprentice to get involved, to learn, test their limits and develop themselves as designers. There is no point getting someone in to sit and be bored and make the tea! It is a chance for someone to get some all important commercial experience as-well as some high profile client work in their portfolio.
For us there is the opportunity to unearth a special talent of course but more importantly it gives us the chance to give a little back to next generation of designers/developers, add some fresh ideas, enthusiasm and ultimately fun into our new home.
Only time will tell if the decision is a good one, everyone at Imaginate Creative are excited about it and with some really exciting projects coming up we are sure it will be a positive experience.
What do you think? Are apprenticeships a good idea in the design industry? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
It's time to stop being a busy fool
The Matt Kendall Foundation