Q&A with Libby Jones, Head of Operations
Hi Libby can you tell me a little bit about what your company does?
The Webinar Vet makes veterinary education easier, more accessible and affordable for vets who have very busy lives. We support vets to complete their CPD through online learning.
So I’m guessing your online presence is really important to your business? Were you able to fully deliver your digital marketing before you had an apprentice?
We were struggling prior to joining the apprenticeship programme, with both manpower and skills. We had one member of staff who was responsible for all marketing, and we had to outsource graphic design work to external contractors. While outsourcing was cost-effective, it slowed down our processes, especially when we required edits to be made to any creatives. We had several big projects running simultaneously and the resources just weren’t there. We decided to adopt the apprenticeship programme to both relieve the pressure on our marketing person, and to reduce our reliance on outside help. Working Knowledge supported us to recruit an apprentice and here we are now, with Alice, our Watertight Marketing Apprentice.
What’s particularly good about the Watertight Marketing Apprenticeship programme?
I think that the scheme itself is really well put together. We were told we were on the pilot scheme, but honestly, it was very difficult to tell that this hadn’t been done many times before as the format worked so well. Alice is supported by her tutor and she enjoys her day out per month at the group Masterclass session. The structure of the training is sound and seems to be designed in a way that is easy to understand.
You are now six months into the programme, are you seeing rewards?
Having Alice in the business has been a great help already, almost from the moment she started, she has hit the ground running. I think having that outside counsel gives her confidence that she has another source of support aside from us, should she need it. Her graphic design talents have helped enormously and she has a great creative eye – the apprenticeship is now helping her to apply those skills in a way that benefits our sales strategies.
Have you noticed Alice’s development and improvement since she started?
Alice has grown in confidence since she started with us and she’s a great support to the wider team. She’s been nominated for employee of the quarter each time since she started and I think that demonstrates her integration within the business, as well as demonstrating how she’s applying her learning to benefit the team in ways that they recognise.
Would you be happy line-manage an apprentice again and is it worth the commitment?
What do you think are the benefits of recruiting young talent?
Young talent is so often overlooked for experience, but I think that taking a chance on someone young gives them to opportunity to develop their skills within your business, so not only do they grow with the business and learn what it needs, but the business also gives back to them, giving them that vital experience that they require for their future career. It’s a two-way street. I’ve always been a supporter of cultivating young talent.
What do you think are the long-term benefits of taking on a digital marketing apprentice?
The apprenticeship programme has given us a member of staff who has been taught solid principles since the start of her employment and specifically applying those skills to helping us grow the company’s impact and influence. Long term, I think Alice will be a strong player in our growing marketing team.