Gene is a small, Brighton-based ecommerce company providing web design and other digital services to retailers. Shortly after it was founded in 2013, the business took on its first apprentice, 17-year-old Dave Macauley, on an Advanced Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media.
“Recruitment is one of the biggest challenges our industry is facing,” says Matt Parkinson, Managing Director. “The industry moves very quickly, and a lot of new ideas come from young people. We wanted to train those young people in keeping with our company values and philosophy.”
As a small business, Gene was able to claim AGE 16-24 (Apprenticeship Grant for Employers), an extra £1,500 which went towards hardware costs. While working towards a Level 3 Diploma in Digital Media as part of his apprenticeship, Dave was given experience of commercial projects from the start and received additional training in the business’s preferred software, Magento.
The following year, Gene took on its second Creative Process apprentice, 20-year-old Chloe Langford. The apprentices have had a tangible positive effect on the business, as Matt explains: “They bring enthusiasm and energy, they don’t have pre-conceived ideas and they’re really hungry to try new things.”
“I’ve been impressed by their desire and ability to turn their hand to new challenges – not being afraid to take on something outside their comfort zone. They’ve sparked a lot of creativity in the business and have inspired other team members, who are benefiting from mentoring and bringing the apprentices up through the ranks.”
In particular, Dave was promoted when he finished his apprenticeship, and with support from Gene to undertake additional qualifications, has since risen to the role of senior lead developer. “Two years on, he’s now the highest-qualified person in Magento and a shareholder of the business,” says Matt. “Dave is a great example of how an apprenticeship can be a gateway to making your mark.”
Gene’s second apprentice, Chloe, has also been promoted as she nears the end of her apprenticeship. “Because our apprentices have both been successful, we’ve recruited the next wave and have offered two new young people an apprenticeship,” explains Matt.
Apprenticeships are now a major part of Gene’s recruitment policy, and have led to the company providing master-class training as part of the Creative Process apprenticeship offer. “Our apprenticeships have been a great return on investment,” says Matt. “We’ve been recommending them to clients, some of whom are now about to take on their first digital media apprentices.”
Creative Process launched the digital apprenticeship for Government and works with hundreds of employers across Brighton and Sussex such as Warner Bros, Mayo Wynne Baxter, Sitevisibility and Wired Sussex to many more smaller companies, offering no fee recruitment and advanced level diploma accredited training in: Digital Business , Digital Marketing and Social Media, Web Design, UX and Development, Photography and Digital Imaging, Video Production, Graphics and Digital Design.
Typical job roles for Creative Process Apprentices include: business administration, project assistants, digital innovation and transformation, operational delivery, social media, campaigns, account executives, search, analytics, PR, web design, development and ecommerce, content management, digital design, motion, 3D graphics, video production, photography, studio support and digital imaging.
To find out more about the business benefits of apprenticeships, please contact Creative Process on 01273 232 273 or go to: www.creativeprocessdigital.com