Apprenticeships / 6 minute read

National Apprenticeship Week – Skills for Life

Written by James Henry

6 February 2024

The theme for 2024 is Skills for Life! Here at DRPG we have apprentices represented at all levels of the business because we believe they are truly valuable and drive us to make anything possible. And as today is Employer’s Day of National Apprentice Week, we would like to cast the spotlight on a few of our amazing past and present apprentices and how they have developed future-ready skills at DRPG.

First up, a word from Head of Learning & Engagement Elaine Voss: “We are proud to be continuing our focus on apprenticeship schemes and outreach. Our relationship with the BBC Early Careers continues to deepen further as we take on more of their superb apprentices. And through the outreach events we attend and put on ourselves, like Sparks Live, we strive to enrich our connection to the young creatives of the Midlands.

“We believe in inclusive learning opportunities for all our team members. Everyone at DRPG gets access to a range of bespoke facilities and learning resources alongside high-level experiences. And because of their powerful team integrity and output, we see a tremendous return on investment for our clients in the form of excellent service.”

Sascha Lewis, Senior Project Manager

Headshot of Sascha Lewis, Senior Project Manager

What apprenticeship have you done? I joined as an Event Assistant apprentice, and now five promotions later I’m a Senior Project Manager.

What do you love about doing an apprenticeship? Experience is key in the event industry, and apprenticeships put you in the thick of it. I get to work with so many different people on different projects, getting lots of vital experience, going to industry events, and even winnings multiple awards such as C&IT Agency A-List CN30UnderThirty. I’m a proud member of DRPG’s Next Gen board, a Gen-Z led initiative which values creative ideas, including our notable event, Sparks Live. This all started because of my apprenticeship.

What would I say to someone considering an apprenticeship? I could have gone to university and done an event management degree, but after three to four years I’d still be starting out in the industry from scratch. For me, an apprenticeship was the best route into my career, and it offered so many diverse career options. 

Ollie Kettle, Account Executive

Headshot of Ollie Kettle, Account Executive.

What apprenticeship are you doing? I'm currently coming towards the end of my Level 4 Marketing Executive Apprenticeship.

What do you love about doing an apprenticeship? Being surrounded by experts in my field, having that 'blanket' of knowledge from others around has been so valuable, especially when there's a project strategy I've struggled to understand. Being able to immediately reach out to experienced industry professionals has been great. And it has at times been a two-way street, as I've been able to teach people in the business about new marketing practices that have recently come into play.

What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship? There's no better way to learn while gaining real-world experience; not just in business but with people too. Interpersonal skills are vital to the communications industry, and my responsibilities at DRPG have really allowed me to develop them.

Rosie Franklin, Production Co-ordinator

Headshot of Rosie Franklin, Production Co-ordinator.

What apprenticeship are you doing? I am currently coming towards the end of my apprenticeship as a Broadcast Production Assistant with the BBC Apprentice Hub.

What do you love about doing an apprenticeship? I love that I can gain real work experience while earning at the same time. I feel like it has given me a jump start into a career at such a young age and allowed me to have access to so many opportunities which I wouldn’t have had at university. With my apprenticeship I have had production assistant experience on high-end television, but also have had the opportunity to work in the comms world as a Production Co-ordinator at DRPG.

What would I say to someone considering an apprenticeship? I would say go for it. I applied on a whim believing that I would never get the job, then I did, and it has only changed my life for the better.

Sarah Davitt, Senior Project Manager

Headshot of Sarah Davitt, Senior Project Manager.

What apprenticeship have you done? Six years ago, I started out as an Event Co-ordinator apprentice at DRPG, and since then I’ve had six promotions and I’m currently a Senior Project Manager.

What do you love about doing an apprenticeship? I get to work on a variety of event styles across the globe and have built up an exceptional track record of experience. I have been lucky enough to attend prestigious industry events and win various awards, including DRPG team of the year. I’m particularly proud of my involvement during the COVID pandemic, when I opened and lead the COVID testing centre here at DRPG. I kept everyone safe and the business operational.

What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship? I believe it has positively changed my life. I’m where I want to be and heading where I want to go. Definitely consider it, because you just might find exactly what you’re looking for.

James Henry, Content Creator

Headshot of James Henry, Content Creator.

What apprenticeship am I doing? I’m a Content Creator apprentice through the BBC Apprentice Hub.

What do I love about doing an apprenticeship? I love work! I really love being busy with work and having an engaging variety of responsibilities. There’s a great sense of community at DRPG, everyone’s so supportive, and I’ve received lots of commendations while sharing my journey on LinkedIn. And instead of defaulting to somewhere like London for a creative media career, I’m in the heart of the West Midlands, doing important and impactful things here, which gives me a huge sense of purpose.

What would I say to someone considering an apprenticeship? You will gain so much confidence in yourself and your abilities when you do real work and see your ideas come to fruition. I get to lead projects which I wouldn’t have able to without the experience and learning platforms provided by my apprenticeship and employer. I feel like a real asset at my workplace, and you will too.

See what took place at our 2023 Sparks Live event