Celebrating Apprentices – Rebekah Taylor

It is incredibly rewarding to hear of the achievements and success stories of our apprentices. Today we are celebrating Rebekah Taylor, a Level 2 Childcare Apprentice, who has shown a fantastic aptitude in all areas of her work, which has been recognised by everyone around her.

My Apprenticeship Journey – Guest Blog by Alex Jackson

Today’s Guest Blog article is written by Alex Jackson, a Digital Marketing Apprentice at Web Shop Direct Ltd. Alex discusses his experience working as an apprentice and how it has benefited both himself personally and the company he works for:


My name is Alex Jackson, and I am participating in a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship company known as Web Shop Direct Ltd. This company sells hosiery, swimwear and lingerie worldwide online, at UKTights.com, UKSwimwear.com, and UKLingerie.com. In my profession, I specialise in Search Engine Optimisation, where I use different techniques and skills that follows Google’s guidelines to get my site to the top space in natural listings.

The great thing about doing this apprenticeship is how both varied the tasks are and how challenged I feel, whilst also feeling like I am contributing to the company. Usually, my mornings consist of assessing revie­­ws of products on the site, and monitor them for abuse. Then I proceed to create some orders from the Amazon business account, through ‘Seller Central’.

Then during the afternoons, I skim through articles that keep me updated on the latest SEO news and allow me to monitor any major updates to Google’s algorithm. I then proceed to go through our AdWord campaigns and monitor them, checking if they need to be altered in any way, so they can make the most of our ROI.

Some of the big projects that I have been involved in recently, apart from several AdWords campaigns, include eliminating errors from all 3 sites through Google Search console. I have also attended several webinars and conferences, including BrightonSEO, which was very interesting and was a serious help in expanding my marketing and SEO knowledge.

I have honestly loved learning about SEO, as I feel I am making a positive impact for the company, and enjoy solving any of the problems the site may encounter. One of the greatest achievements I have ever accomplished, and my proudest moment when improving our SEO profile, was helping UKTights.com rank number 1 for tights by adding links to old pages, along with another colleague who works with our SEO team, a milestone never achieved in the time of the company’s history. It’s one of my proudest achievements so far, and is impactful and meaningful for the company, which I would never have done without my apprenticeship learning.

Another great thing about working whilst completing an apprenticeship, is that it brings a sense of accomplishment beyond learning through school might. Whilst there are some worries when I’m working on an important project for the company, or when completing a task for my assessor at Total People, I will always be able to get help and guidance on how to complete the task. I never feel any unnecessary pressure when working on a task, and they’re very understanding and flexible when it comes to completing apprenticeship tasks versus completing work tasks. That is one of the main reasons I love learning on the job and one of the main reasons I chose this option.

After spending just over half a year on an apprenticeship, I truly could not recommend anything better than doing a course like this. I had thought about going to college before considering an apprenticeship, but I realised that the difficulty of juggling college and work would be difficult for me. Making this progress whilst also earning a wage and learning about applicable skills in the real world is proving invaluable. I would recommend to anyone a course like this if they want to work, learn and grow.

Taking The Ladder of Opportunity in Manufacturing – Nikita Briggs Guest Blog

An inspiring blog post by Nikita Briggs, a Digital Marketing Apprentice at Duo UK. Nikita provides a fantastic insight into her experience working as an apprentice:

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What a difference a year makes for Accounts Apprentice, Brittany

brittany-webThis time last year, Brittany Hamer was like thousands of other 16-year-olds having just collected her GCSE results. Despite all of her friends and peers moving onto college and enjoying the long summer holidays, Brittany knew she didn’t want to follow the crowd.

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The Apprenticeship Levy Is Coming, Are You Ready?

In the 2015 Autumn Budget, the Chancellor announced the introduction of a new levy on all large UK employers to fund Apprenticeships. The levy underpins the Government’s Apprenticeship reform programme and its commitment to achieving 3 million Apprenticeship starts by 2020 – a 35% increase in the Apprenticeships delivered in the last Parliament. The levy is intended to provide the funding and incentives to help deliver this commitment.

The levy will support all post-16 Apprenticeships in England. It will provide funding that each employer can use to meet their individual needs. The funding will be directly controlled by employers via the digital Apprenticeships voucher, and firms that are committed to training will be able to get back more than they put in.

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Or you can download "The Apprenticeship Levy Guide" for more information below.

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