Fashion Magazine

Anthem Publishing: Building Our Workforce Through Apprenticeships

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“I decided to go down the apprenticeship route in order to change careers, and to learn a new skill being in a different field. Having previously only had childcare qualifications, this left my options fairly limited and therefore it was important to me to explore what other options were out there.  I am in an advertising and sales-based role at Anthem. Throughout the working week, I reach out to new clients and discuss with them the different advertising services which we can provide, as well as staying in touch with existing clients to maintain those positive relationships.” – Ella

Anthem Publishing – Building Back our Workforce through Apprenticeships

Louise Punt, Head of HR at Anthem Publishing, spoke to the West of England Apprenticeship Service about the approach they are taking to building back their workforce after COVID-19.

Anthem Publishing, based in Bath, helps people lead happier, healthier lives through their food, wellbeing and music brands. We spoke to Louise to understand why their business has decided to grow their team and meet their skills gaps through taking on apprentices. 

 

What has your business been through over the last 12 months?

Like so many small businesses, due to the pandemic we had to make a number of redundancies across areas of our business. Our business is focused across print, digital and live events. Whilst we have a constant need to innovate, we knew digital would be our future and we saw a gap in digital skills in our business which was heightened by the lockdown. As we’re looking to now grow our team, I wanted to explore our options around this. I had heard about apprenticeships and reached out to the Workforce for the Future programme for some advice and guidance around the options available to us.

What role did you see apprenticeships playing at Anthem Publishing? 

Our culture and values are a key part of our team and business. We saw apprenticeships as a way to help people start their careers in our business and an opportunity for us to shape them to our approach. We are passionate about diversity and inclusion. Whilst we have worked with various universities through their graduate schemes, we wanted to help people of all ages get into the sector through a different route. We were focused on getting the right candidate into the role and doing what we could as an employer to support this.

How did you recruit your apprentices?

I reached out to the Workforce for the Future programme; I had heard that they offered small businesses free support with workforce planning. I was put in touch with the West of England Apprenticeship Service who took all of the jargon away and simplified apprenticeships and the whole process for us. They supported us with finding the right apprenticeship for the roles we were looking to recruit for. We were linked up with two apprenticeship training providers (Lifetime Training and QA) who supported us to recruit the apprentices and deliver the training aspect of the role. We have now successfully recruited Molly who supports with our digital marketing and Ella who sits on our sales team.

“My role with Anthem is a digital marketing apprenticeship which is delivered through QA. I work on the title Vegan Food & Living and am responsible for reporting the latest vegan news, taking care of our social media channels, creating and sending marketing emails, and creating marketing graphics and content for social media. Additionally, since joining Anthem I now co-host the Simply Vegan podcast. Working at Anthem has been such an amazing experience, everyone is so helpful and motivating.” – Molly

 

 

What have been the benefits of bringing Molly and Ella into the team via an apprenticeship?

We have given our apprentices a lot of autonomy and encouraged them to pick up new projects. They have a great work ethic and have been conscientious in managing their apprenticeship work and achieving their KPIs. Their perspective and ideas have been really refreshing for the team, as they haven’t necessarily come from the industry. We have received a lot of support from our training providers and both apprenticeships have very much been tailored to our business and roles.

 

What advice do you have for any other businesses thinking about taking on apprentices?

Firstly, don’t be off by the jargon and what may seem a bureaucratic system when thinking about taking on apprentices. There are many organisations that can advise you about the next steps and there are a number of training providers, offering a wide range of training standards to match the apprentice you are looking to recruit.  We had amazing support from the West of England Apprenticeship Service, as part of the Workforce for the Future programme. They really got under the skin of Anthem and understood what we were looking for.  They supported Anthem throughout the entire recruitment process and matched the job roles perfectly, as well as providing back office support to claim apprenticeship funding.  We are delighted that we have been able to provide Molly and Ella with new exciting opportunities to learn and develop new skills, as well as them bringing their ideas and creativity to Anthem.

Meet Molly and Ella and learn more about their experience of their apprenticeship: Anthem Publishing - Molly & Ella's Story 

Are you looking to take on an apprentice, or keen to understand your options for recruiting an apprentice or upskilling your team? Get in touch with our team. Funded by the West of England Combined Authority, we offer a free and independent apprenticeship support service for small businesses in the West of England. We can also help you understand apprenticeship opportunities available for your sector and support you to access apprenticeship funding support through the Share to Support scheme. Get in touch to talk about how we can support you: apprenticeships@wtpn.org.uk