Spotlight on: Actionable Insight
Based in Bath, Actionable Insight is a boutique digital strategy and transformation consultancy that enables senior executives to make smarter business decisions by adding human intelligence to digital analytics.
We spoke with Director Roger Jones about why the business decided to grow their team and how the impartial advice and support from the West of England Apprentice Service helped assist the process.
After the business direction shifted last year, Roger got to work coming up with a plan to acquire and manage new clientele. He quickly realised that he would need resource to help achieve these targets and aims and wanted to keep more projects in-house rather than using external contractors, ensuring best practice and consistency is maintained throughout the business.
Having originally been an apprentice himself, Roger decided he would begin research into hiring an apprentice to join the company and adapt their training according to the needs of the business.
“I’ve always been a fan of apprenticeships having been an apprentice myself. Apprenticeships have evolved and it felt like the right time to hire one into the business. I felt it was better to recruit an apprentice and teach them absolute best practice as opposed to someone who had potentially picked up bad habits”
After some desk research, Roger landed on the WTPN website and contacted the West of England Apprenticeship Service (WEAS) team for further guidance. After an initial meeting discussing the business needs and different apprenticeship standards, WEAS were able to connect Roger to different training providers offering the provision. Roger told us
“It was a seamless process, the [West of England Apprenticeship Service] team laid out the administration required in a logical fashion and smoothed out any questions I had. They acted as a trusted advisor that made the process seamless as I was being accompanied and hand-held by a knowledgeable expert party”.
Fast forward a few weeks and Izzy has begun her journey as Actionable Insight’s first Digital Marketing Apprentice. Izzy first learnt about apprenticeships at school, although it was spoken about very broadly and the focus still on more traditional further and higher education routes such as University. It wasn’t until a friend of Izzy’s began their apprenticeship journey that she considered this path for herself.
Opting out of the university route, Izzy applied to be a full-time member of staff at Actionable Insight and undertake a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing. As well as working, training, and learning with Roger, Izzy spends one day a week remote learning with apprenticeship training provider Just IT to gain underpinning knowledge and skills that she can then implement in her day-to-day work at Actionable Insight. Izzy spoke to us about her decision to embark on an apprenticeship, stating for her
“It’s a much better route than going to University as I’m getting experience that can’t be learnt in a classroom, as well as a qualification”.
Although Izzy has only been working at Actionable Insight for 2 months, she is already supporting projects with large clients; Woof Interior Design, dealing with website optimisation, search engine visibility and social media engagement as well as CivTech Alliance, a Scottish Government programme, working on their website and web editing optimisation including image and video editing of for their COP27 work. From leaving school only a few months ago to now earning whilst she learns working at Actionable Insight!
Roger spoke of the benefits of bringing an apprentice into his team:
“It’s possible to exist in an environment where you’re used to using particular language and slang and it’s already helped having Izzy in the team as she is able to interpret the jargon and translate it into phrasing that our clients like and are able to understand. This has led to me having a sense check on some of the processes and language I use. It’s refreshing to get input from a new angle and approach.
The [WEAS] team laid the foundations and explained the fundamentals allowing me to understand how the process [of hiring an apprentice] was going to work. Particularly as a micro-business, I am investing time into training Izzy, but I know that after a few months the investment will bare even more fruit and balance that training time as Izzy will be able to have more responsibility and accountability over projects and clients.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The service is led by the Western Training Provider Network, as part of the West of England Combined Authority's Workforce for the Future programme. The service is free to businesses, thanks to funding and support from the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Find out more information about Workforce for the Future here.