Gloucestershire College apprenticeship case study: Digital marketing
By Sarah Wood
Based in the Forest of Dean, Tree Shop is a successful online business producing thousands of orders every year. Owners John and Walter Davis welcomed Gloucestershire College apprentice Daniel Burch to the team in November 2020, with an exciting job role combining a love of the outdoors with the technical skills of digital marketing.
Daniel said: "After looking at my options when I was still in secondary school, I decided that doing an apprenticeship would be best for me because of my learning style and ambitions. I wanted to develop my skills and experience and I thought the best way to learn is with hands-on experience, instead of taking a full time, theory course. The fact that you're also paid to learn instead of taking on a student loan was also attractive to me.
"I found the apprenticeship vacancy on the National Careers Service website. You can filter apprenticeships by what industry you want to work in, so that's how I was able to find the specific apprenticeship I wanted.
"Applying for the apprenticeship is similar to applying for a job. You write out a description of yourself, what you bring to the table, what you hope to get out of the apprenticeship, and attach your CV."
Daniel has been learning how to complete and manage invoices, sending customer orders out and creating spreadsheets to manage stock. When he isn't working on a computer, he has been planting trees and placing out shrubs.
Daniel continued: "The apprenticeship programme has been very helpful, as you can directly apply what you have learnt. As the sole digital marketer, it's good to see how to take what you know from the apprenticeship course and apply it yourself to help the business.
"My line manager and Gloucestershire College assessor have both been very supportive. My line manager has been training me by drawing on their own experience working as a manager in different industries for many years. They have shown me all the aspects of their business that they can, which is helpful as a marketer, as you get a much better understanding of their business as a whole.
"I would recommend doing an apprenticeship because it's more than just a qualification. You learn how to adapt to challenges, create plans and projects, work in a team and communicate with many different types of people of varying ages and backgrounds. It helps you to become a more rounded person and it shows you how to stand on your own two feet."
Walter Davis, director of Tree Shop, said they wanted to be more proactive in their marketing, including email special offers, newsletters, requests for feedback and using Google reviews and Trustpilot.
John Davis, chairman and proprietor of Tree Shop, said: "We advertised, received 30 responses, shortlisted 11 and virtually interviewed five applicants from mature to young people. This was all organised by Gloucestershire College's Business Hub team, who assisted in every possible way. The advert went on the national apprenticeship website and we were encouraged by the number and the quality of the applicants."
Walter added: "It is a great way to bring in new people and ideas to a business and help it grow."
Gloucestershire College is committed to delivering excellence for apprentices and employers. Its apprenticeship programmes have a range of start dates throughout the year and the college can help businesses recruit an apprentice free of charge.
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Picture credit: Gloucestershire College
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