The Apprenticeship Levy is one of the single biggest apprenticeship reforms England has seen in years, and advertising agencies are being greatly affected by it. While some may see it as another nuisance tax, we're here to explain why that is simply not the case. Here are the six key ways that ad agencies can benefit from the Apprenticeship Levy:
Bring in new digital natives that are buzzing with excitement
With new digital technology and software being created every year, what better way to keep up with the change than to bring in those that have grown up with it? Young people are incredibly adept with new technology and can leverage emerging channels such as Snapchat. By building a workforce that can work well with change means you can future proof your business and protect it from any negative ripples that can come from industry changes.
Apprenticeships are a great way to encourage young people to join your advertising agency. As an apprentice, they will have a strong support network and great mentors, which gives them the confidence to start their career in an industry they don't have experience in. The wide breadth of apprenticeship programmes available due to the Apprenticeship Levy also means that you can sustain a whole range of teams and bring in new talent when skills gaps open.
2. Encourage an environment of lifelong learning
The fantastic benefit of the Apprenticeship Levy is that it has allowed almost anyone to experience the benefits of apprenticeships, with age limits being removed. The sharp increase in programmes available at different levels means that personal development doesn't just stop when you become a manager. Degree and management apprenticeships mean that managers can formalise their knowledge with qualifications or become specialists in an area of their industry.
With industry qualifications like CIPD, CMI, ACCA, AAT etc.. apprenticeships aren't just for school leavers, but for anybody that wants to continue their learning.
3. It helps you retain your talent!
By bringing in young talent through apprenticeships, they learn and grow with your company and naturally become loyal to your advertising agency. They develop skills that are specific to your company and help close skills gaps within your company quickly. By making an investment in the young person through your time and resources, they easily become ambassadors for your agency.
It's also great for retaining existing employees by showing your commitment to them through apprenticeships. By encouraging them to continue to develop within your company, employees feel connected to your agency and the investment that you have put in them. It's also a great way to promote within and for those coming up to managerial positions to have the transition happen smoothly and at a comfortable pace.
4. It helps you focus on creating a diverse workforce
Especially with entry-level apprenticeships, which do not really require any specific qualifications, all candidates will feel confident enough to apply. As such, you aren't accidentally appealing to a specific group while alienating another group. Apprenticeships feel much more accessible to everyone due to the variety that is available and the flexibility in candidate requirements.
A diverse workforce is essential to any successful advertising agency. It's one of the few ways a company can stay in tune with its industry and grow with the time.
So where do you go from here?
The first step is to talk to your heads of departments. Understand where their skills gaps lie, where they are particularly over-stretched or if they are eager to develop an existing member of their team further. By making sure that you and your heads of departments are on the same page, it means that they are completely involved in the process. It's important that managers are enthusiastic about having an apprentice and are invested to ensure that the apprentice will have a positive experience. For many this is their first 'office' job and so may require some patience and understanding at the beginning, and if they have a line manager that is not supported it can have very negative effects on the apprentice.
The next step is to get in touch with a member of the Creative Pioneers 2 team. We are born out of a need for advertising agencies to get new talent and have been working with them for over 5 years. We're working with some of the UK's largest agencies, helping them to organise and efficiently use their levy.
To get in touch with one of our apprenticeship experts, please fill out this short form - it will take less than a minute!