The Importance of Apprenticeships

It’s nearing the end of National Apprenticeship Week! Here at StrawberryToo, one of our biggest assets is nurturing home grown talent - whether it’s graduates, apprentices or work experience students. We know the importance of platforms that allow for young people to get their first taste of working in the industry, along with the huge positive impact apprentices can have working within a company… it’s not just Sir Alan Sugar that sees the potential!

Both our Creative Director, Jade, and Graduate Designer, Jess, started with Strawberry and StrawberryToo as apprentices. Jade has since been given the role of Creative Director at Too and gone on to win a ‘Rising Star’ Drum Award… not too shabby from purely learning on the job! After proving herself on her 16 month apprenticeship, Jess achieved a permanent role as a designer whilst working closely with Jade to learn even more about the creative industry.

We asked Jess about why she opted for an apprenticeship, here’s what she said: “University just wasn’t the right next step for me after college, so as soon as I heard about StrawberryToo, I knew I had to apply and give it my all. I never thought I’d get chosen out of the hundreds of candidates that applied, but I was lucky enough to secure the position and it’s the best thing to happen to me! The opportunity of an apprenticeship has allowed me to learn hands-on since day one of my career. In 30 months, I’ve learnt so much valuable industry knowledge, secured a senior creative designer role and I now thrive in a busy studio. I’d recommend an apprenticeship to any young creative: I’ve loved every minute of my time here!”.

It can be notoriously tricky knowing just how to break into the creative industry. For some it could mean gaining a degree at University level, for others it could be best working up the ladder and the ideal option for some students might be combining study with work - which is why apprenticeships can potentially be the best route in!

Though we’re a mixed bunch of graduates and apprentices here at StrawberryToo, there are lots of benefits to apprenticeships as a route into the industry. Here are our top five!

As an employee, you’ll be fully immersed in the workplace with hands-on experience in the industry. Sometimes, employers overlook qualifications for actual work experience so the more you can get - the better!

Apprentices have the opportunity to fast track straight into the workplace, often gaining a qualification of the same calibre as a University graduate, but without the fees to pay off at the end.

A lot of apprenticeships offer a salary, meaning you can earn while you learn.

Being immersed in a live agency, there is the opportunity to build your contacts and progress within the company. In the digital creative industry especially, networking can be essential to beginning your career - making a good name for yourself will only help you in the long run.

Working alongside experienced professionals, the information and guidance you will receive will be practical and authentic to the industry.

We’re not the only ones that recognise the importance of apprentices! You can read all about the progression apprentices can make on our big sister Strawberry’s blog post, Apprenticeship Special: Where are they now?

If you’re looking to get your foot in the door in any way, drop us an email at jade@strawberrytoo.co.uk and we’ll help as best we can! We love hearing from young creatives wanting to begin their career ☺️

Jessica Clark