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How apprenticeships are revolutionising advertising

Apprenticeships are a growing force in the education sector, with more and more people choosing it as the way for them to enter an industry or to up-skill themselves. When the Apprenticeship Levy came into place in April 2017, advertising agencies were hit hard - especially IPA members who make up 85% of the total ad spend in the UK and turnover millions of pounds each year.

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April 2017 by the UK Government to fill the skills gap facing UK businesses and to encourage employers to invest in more young talent.

Find out more about the Apprenticeship Levy here.

How does the Apprenticeship Levy affect advertising agencies?

The levy affects all c. 10,000 agencies in the UK, whether they are levy payers or not. Ten percent of agencies will have a payroll of over £3 million, so will have to pay into the levy. These funds are returned as digital vouchers that can only be spent on apprenticeships with registered training providers. If agencies decide not to use their vouchers, the funds will expire in two years where they will then be taken by Government.

For the remaining 90% of agencies who have a payroll of less than £3 million, they are considered non-levy payers but can still benefit considerably from the Apprenticeship Levy. In order to encourage smaller businesses to hire apprentices, the Government funds 90% of the training with the agency making up the remainder in quarterly instalments.

How will apprenticeships change the landscape of advertising?

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) have been spearheading a movement to improve diversity within the ad industry and make it an accessible career for everyone. They believe that apprenticeships, and apprentices, are the way to open up advertising, which is why the Creative Pioneers programme was developed.

We work with 60% of the top 25 agencies in the world, including all of the top 3. Find out how your agency can benefit from apprenticeships today. 

With the rapid rate that digital and tech are growing, in order to stay ahead of competition, agencies need to invest in those that have lived and breathed digital their whole lives – young people. By bringing in enthusiastic school/college leavers not only will you have a member of the team with a fresh perspective and new ideas, but someone that encourages those around them to re-evaluate their processes and start looking at things differently.

Joseph Hollans-Gibson, SEO Manager and apprentice line manager at Banc Media: “Our apprentice is involved in many aspects of the business. He’s learning in a few months what took me a year, he’s really impressed everyone and he’s become a key member of the team.

“I found it extremely rewarding having an apprentice. I realised that teaching someone actually helps to reinforce my own knowledge”

How can we map our current entry-level roles to apprenticeships?

Here’s how we’ve suggested you could match your entry-level roles to apprenticeships:

  • Account Executive – a dedicated Advertising Executive apprenticeship programme is currently in development, but for the time being the Digital Marketer is the closest programme.
  • Graphic Designer – the Junior Content Producer apprenticeship is a flexible programme that can be stretched to almost any content production role.
  • SEO/PPC/Biddable (and other marketing specialisms) Executive – the Digital Marketer programme will give the apprentice exposure to all marketing disciplines and the role can be slightly more focused on the specialism that you need.
  • Media Planner/Buyer – media planning and buying is another apprenticeship that we’re trying to get off the ground, but in the meantime you could stretch it to the Digital Marketer programme.

You can also hire apprentices in your support functions like finance and HR. Mapping jobs roles to apprenticeships can be tricky, especially as roles need to be able to cover the majority of the programme’s competencies.

In order to guarantee that the apprentice will be able to make the most of the programme and be able to successfully complete it, speak to one of the experts at Creative Pioneers2 who can give you tailored advice.