#NAW19 – Celebrating Apprenticeships at Applegate

Applegate currently have 8 Degree Level Apprentices enrolled into its Workplace Degree Programme. The scheme was described as ‘an excellent model which would benefit Higher Education nationally if replicated; something truly excellent for employers and businesses’ by Andrew Penfold, Managing Director and Management Consultant at Alacrity Consulting (an organisation facilitating excellence in graduates and graduate employment schemes). Applegate has since gone on to be recognised as an innovative provider by the Financial Times, as well as featuring in Grow Exeter Magazine, and CMI publications; amongst others.

Apprentices are spread throughout Finance, HR, Marketing and Client Services. What’s more, we’re currently recruiting for up to five new apprentice starts in September. This week’s blog post, in National Apprenticeship Week, will showcase our current Apprentices and the real impact they’re having on Applegate.

“I feel that involving myself with the Business Management Degree Apprenticeship, something I wouldn’t have usually considered, is one of the best decisions I have ever made” – Leah Tofield, First Year Apprentice.

When Joanna Nancekivell isn’t stopping for a drink at The Ritz with CEO Stuart Brocklehurst, she coordinates the day-to-day running of HR at Applegate. “During my apprenticeship I have gained invaluable experience within HR at such a young age, an opportunity I wouldn’t get if I went to University taking on a great level of responsibility and handling professional matters.”

Joanna was in fact heavily involved with the recruitment process for the latest intake of Applegate Apprentices – including Sam Hall, who works in the Marketing Team. He says that the programme offers ‘practical support’, ‘applying skills learnt in the lecture theatre, in a real workplace environment’.

Some people of course, do enjoy academic study – such as Claire, a Finance Assistant at Applegate. “Due to personal family circumstances, I was unable to consider a residential university course – nor did I like the sound of £57,000 worth of debt at the end of it, with no ‘real experience’ to show for it. The degree apprenticeship combines the best of both worlds; the paid for qualifications, plus the invaluable experience of a job made it the perfect (and much more accessible) route for me.”

“If it was not for this programme I would not find the talent I need” – Stuart Brocklehurst, Applegate CEO, Financial Times | February 2019

Jack Fish, aged 20, had offers to go to University – but he decided to kickstart his career with Applegate. “As an Account Executive I am part of the team who provide a key interface between Applegate and our supplier network. My Apprenticeship is a solid foundation to a successful career in business and provides a better bridge from education to work that a University route cannot compete with.”

It is that invaluable workplace experience that sets apart apprenticeships from residential degree courses, such as our trips to trade shows; parliamentary receptions and other exclusive events. Phoebe Ward described speaking in parliament as ‘an incredible experience which isn’t something that University students would get the opportunity to do often”.

Jon Loates is an Email Marketing Assistant, Premises Manager, and Office DJ extraordinaire – “I have explored various departments and been able to gain invaluable knowledge and experience. I have had the opportunity to project manage the office move, in addition to my more permanent role within Marketing as an email marketing assistant.

The Applegate Workplace Degree Programme, an innovative apprenticeship scheme, also attracted me, the writer of this piece – a self-confessed ‘Londoner turned commitment-phobe’ who decided to ditch the Bakerloo Line for Barnstaple to access applied, contextualised higher education and kick-start my career 3 years earlier than my peers.

So there we go – a little insight into our apprentices here at Applegate. Of course, residential degrees have plentiful benefits. But, this week – we’ll be celebrating the work of our Degree Apprentices. We hope you will too - you may even liaise with a member of the Applegate Team enrolled on the Degree Apprenticeship.

Interested in applying?

Email hr@applegate.co.uk or alternatively if you want to know a bit more about the scheme, visit this page.

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