Celebrating The Value of Apprenticeships

Added on 07/02/2020

This National Apprenticeship Week, we're extremely proud to be celebrating 10 years of apprenticeships at Face Media Group. Over this time, we've had over 20 apprentices through our doors. But I'll always remember our first apprentice, Kerry Stakim, who joined as a business administration apprentice in our customer service team.

Kerry was excellent, we entered her for the 'National Apprentice Of The Year 2012 Awards' which she won! Kerry became a poster girl for Apprenticeships and was featured on billboards and buses across the UK. Very proud we were.

Once an apprenticeship term is up, our apprentices typically stay with the company for a few years, before moving on to something bigger and better. I see the apprenticeship programme as a brilliant way to find young talent, and nurture it, into a valued member of the team. 

The current team at Face Media Group all started as apprentices, Molly is our longest serving apprentice, and she is currently studying a level 5 in management with the BPIF (British Print Industry Federation). Molly now heads up our Customer Care team, and is a key member of our management team. I hope she'll take over as MD one day soon!
Speaking about her experience as an apprentice, Molly said:

"I started my career  at Face Media Group as an Apprentice Customer Service Advisor. I was at a point in my life where I knew I didn't want to go to university, but I wanted to continue in education and to start working in a creative industry. The apprenticeship scheme was the right path to follow as it allowed me to continue learning, to gain experience in the workplace and enter into a stable career. After completing my apprenticeship in Customer Service, I was kept on in my role and have continued to progress through the company to finally become Head of Customer Care.

My positive experiences led me to apply for a second apprenticeship in Level 5 Management with the BPIF so that I could learn the skills I need to further my career and to improve in my current role. My experience of apprenticeships has allowed me to grow in both my career and in my personal life, giving me the confidence and knowledge to take chances that previously would have felt out of my range."

Molly's experience dispels the typical stereotype that "apprenticeships are for?individuals who didn’t have the qualifications to attend?university.” showing an alternative route to a successful career. Like Molly, Ryan was on track for university. but decided this wasn't for him. He explains:

"I began my apprenticeship journey in 2017 and didn't look back. It was a great opportunity for me to combine gaining a qualification and learning, whilst also working and earning money. During my 18 months as an apprentice, I was able to learn and perfect all of the skills which have landed me where I am today, a full-time member of the team here at Face Media Group. I am now responsible for managing and preparing artwork for all of our clients, something I could not have even imagined when I first joined three years ago. I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship. It has helped me to find direction in my career and it is a great way for anybody to experience the working world and everything that comes with it. 

At Face Media Group, we look beyond the tired preconceptions around apprenticeships, and do our best to share with others the true value apprenticeships bring. Off the back of my experience, I was asked to become a member of the Apprentice Ambassador Network, to help spread the word to other businesses. This is why I regularly speak at business events, and schools, about the benefits, encouraging more small businesses to get involved. 

It's a message I intend to keep pushing home.

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Jim Cunliffe Head of Customer Love
Jim is a prolific networker, small business mentor and a supporter of anything 'community'. He is an ambassador for the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS/SFA) and Young Enterprise on the South Coast. Jim is the Area Leader (Sussex) for FSB (Federation of Small Business) for 2019-2021 and President of BNI Pavilion (Brighton) - What a busy lad! He loves to spend his time encouraging entrepreneurial spirit in everyone he meets. And when it comes to print, there's nothing Jim doesn't know about quality design, ink on paper, promotional gifts and branded clothing. He's an expert in all things branding.