With businesses realising the importance of having a digital presence, many are looking to start marketing their products and services online. Engaging with a marketing agency can be an expensive option to begin with. Not to mention it’s much harder for someone outside the business to really get to grips with your mission and vision. Bringing this in-house gives you the opportunity to train someone up and mould them to your ways of working.
With the budget announcements being made this week, it has given businesses even more of an incentive to go down the apprentice route. Any employer who hires a new apprentice between 1st April 2021 and 30th September 2021 will receive £3,000 per new hire. Let’s have a look through some of the things you need to consider when taking on a Digital Marketing Apprentice.
What Does It Involve?
A Digital Marketing Apprentice is a full-time member of your team, who is responsible for the ongoing digital marketing. Whilst they are considered full-time, they will be required to attend off-the-job training for one day a week; and you will need to pay them for this day. The length of an apprenticeship can vary from 18-36 months depending on the level of training they receive. The two levels of Digital Marketing apprenticeship are:
- Digital Marketer Level 3 Apprenticeship – this typically lasts for 18 months, and 95% funding is available up to £11,000. The employer would therefore only need to pay £550.
- Digital Marketer Level 6 Apprenticeship – this lasts for 36 months, and is the equivalent to a degree level. Maximum funding is up to £21,000, and the maximum and employer would pay is £1,050.
As well as the apprentice having a day out of the office each week to work on their apprenticeship, you will be expected to provide on-the-job training too. The apprentice will have very little knowledge and probably a limited amount of experience too. This means you will need to allocate time to show them the ropes from day one. Lots of questions will be asked; so be prepared to do very little of your normal work during the first few months while they settle into the role.
Expense To The Business
As well as paying the apprentice minimum wage, you also need to think about some of the external costs. This includes the loss of revenue as you are training them up; the day where they have to attend off-the-job training but they still need to be paid; and if you are running a larger business the line manager will also need to take time out to check the apprentice is on track.
It is a good idea at the beginning of the hire process to have a discussion with your apprentice about how their wage will be increasing in line with them hitting certain KPIs and goals. Whilst minimum wage is a good starting block, you will want to pay them a higher salary as soon as you can. Otherwise they may receive a better offer and go elsewhere! You should be open about how the apprentice can add value to your business from the start, and what they need to be doing in order to move up the pay scale.
Adding More Skills
So now you have all the foundations in place to take on a Digital Marketing Apprentice, let’s run through some of the key benefits to your business.
If you already have an existing marketing team, adding a new member will help put some new ideas into the mix and relieve some of the current workload. The more experienced members of the team will be able to focus on those areas which bring your business a higher return on investment.
Things To Not Overlook
The hardest thing to accept (if you are not prepared for it), is the fact that it is going to take a considerable amount of time before the apprentice can work independently and contribute to the business. It is not going to be a case of them hitting the ground running from day one. They will need support and guidance in order to develop and grow within their role. A lot of hand-holding will be needed within the early stages. A task which may take you an hour to complete could take the apprentice half a day. You need to factor in additional time for them to not only carry out the task but also to review the work they have completed.
The apprentice may also be taught different methods at their college than you teach them. Sometimes this can be positive, as it can bring new ideas to the business. On the flip side, their approach could be completely unaligned with your business processes. Remember that they are going to be graded against the approach of their training provider so it is important that this approach is used instead, for the duration of their apprenticeship at least.
One final thing to be aware of is that the apprentice is free to leave after they have finished. This means you could be investing a lot of time and money into them; and it could all disappear within a flash. There is nothing you can do to guarantee that they will stay, but putting some best practices in place as an employer will help you with this. Try and encourage them to be open and honest with you. It is your responsibility to make sure they are happy and enjoying their job.
An apprentice is not the right option for every business. If you work in a large organisation you might not have the time to dedicate to training someone up from the ground. You may be better paying a slightly higher salary for someone who is more skilled and experienced in the field. If you do decide to go down the apprenticeship the team at Brooks and Kirk are here to help – drop us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org