Amber Mountain Marketing Apprentice Programme – Giving Young People A Foot into the World of Business
Amber Mountain Marketing, a leading marketing and advertising company based in St Albans is at the forefront of giving young people an opportunity into the world of business. Through the Amber Mountain Digital Marketing Apprenticeship Scheme, young people or school leavers are given an opportunity to train in various aspects of digital marketing, acquire skills on the job and experience working with real life businesses. On completion of the programme, they get a digital marketing qualification worth £12,000. Herts Review had a chat with the founder of Amber Mountain Marketing, Emma Ellis on the apprenticeship programme, why it was set up and the goals of the programme in the coming years.
Emma is passionate about young people and feels they are getting a really bad rap. “There are limited job opportunities, for those in Universities they are saddled with a lot of debt and there is a lot of expectation as well. When I was that age, I had no idea what I wanted to do. The apprenticeship programme is an option for them if they don’t want to go down the traditional route of attending University or other forms of Higher Education. Through this process they acquire life skills which are needed in any business and with time they can find their niche and build a career for the future. Every business or organization needs marketing, so the skills are useful across the board”.
Amber Mountain’s Digital Apprenticeship Programme started in July 2019 and presently has six apprentices and one intern. “It is a case of killing two birds with one stone. In our industry, we come across a lot of local businesses that need marketing but do not have the budget. Through the apprenticeship scheme we offer these local businesses an outsourced marketing solution to suit their budget. They get a dedicated Marketing Manager focused on their business thereby getting the marketing support they need to grow and expand. It means both parties get what they want”.
The apprentices are trained in all aspects of digital marketing including Email Marketing, Web design & Development, Social Media Marketing, Blogs, Newsletters, SEO. They also get the opportunity to practice what they learn daily in a LIVE environment when they are placed with an Amber Mountain Marketing client. “The transformation is unbelievable. To see some of the apprentices start off with little skills and confidence and watch them learn, grow, and evolve in a short period of time is outstanding. I see them make presentations and talk confidently with clients advising them how they can improve their businesses. It is really an experience worth it. I am so proud of them”.
Initially, not all businesses welcomed working with apprentices. “There was some push back. We have spent time educating a lot of local businesses. Marketing is the fuel that drives businesses. These apprentices have grown up with digital devices, so they are comfortable and familiar with them. Once they are given instructions and direction, they pick up things quite quickly. I am glad we are overcoming the initial resistance by getting the buy in of clients. We hope to get more apprentices and sign on more clients in the coming years”.
Emma had an unusual journey into a career in Marketing. “I think this apprentice programme resonates with me because at that age I was not sure what to do. I didn’t really like the formal school setting and so going to University was not really an option for me. I took a job as a temp in a global company that markets medical devices. I remember seeing a presentation by one of the Marketing Managers to our clients. I enjoyed the presentation so much and I just knew that this is what I want to do”.
A Marketing Assistant position followed, and she worked her way up the ladder to Marketing Communications Manager. “After starting a family, it became clear I could not continue that role with all the travel and responsibilities while looking after young children. I had to think of a way of utilizing my skills and experience to help local businesses. I am really passionate about local businesses succeeding and that how Amber Mountain Marketing was born two and half years ago”.
Is the apprenticeship programme for anybody? “We have been on a journey figuring out the process over the last year. We are looking for the right people. The ones with an interest in a career in business. Through this opportunity they learn about various industries from experts. Usually before they join, we ask them to do a case study on a new potential client e.g. what they could do with the client’s website or how they can help the business succeed. Through this process we find candidates that we feel are the right fit”.
“We are pretty ambitious with this programme as it will make our marketing company the one-stop shop for everything marketing related. Presently, we have our areas of strengths and other areas we outsource or work with partners. Our goal is to have apprentices trained as experts in all aspects of marketing as part of our team. So, we are looking at training in Photography, Public Relations, Videography, Google AdWords etc. I am hoping we will have 30 apprentices on our books by 2022. This means adding 2 to 3 apprentices a month next year. It also means adding more clients to our customer base.
There have been several wins with the programme. One of the apprentices is now a Marketing Manager in Amber Mountain Marketing. Tia-Lily Girdlestone, another apprentice has just completed her qualification after 15 months with the programme. “When they have completed the programme, they can decide on their next course of action. They can work with us or take their skills into the marketplace”.
“I am so glad we have an opportunity to help young people and change the minds of business owners. I am hoping other companies will see what we are doing and take similar action. Now some of our clients are looking to take on apprentices in their business so I am happy to have influenced this. Within our community I am reaching out to the Education Board and Schools letting them know what we are doing. I am really positive and looking forward to welcoming the next batch of apprentices”.
For any questions on Amber Mountain’s Digital Marketing Apprentice Programme contact the team here.