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Your questions answered…

Is your training any good?

Why is this Digital Marketing apprenticeship programme better than ones offered by other training providers?2021-01-14T17:36:09+00:00

We are: 

UNIQUE. No other programme can be mapped to the award-winning Watertight Marketing methodology proven by over 2,000 UK businesses. 

PRACTICAL. Unlike some apprenticeship programmes that follow a ‘one-size fits all’ process, we work with your real-life marketing/business strategies and help you assess what’s working and what’s not, and find a clear route forwards. 

CONNECTED. Digital marketing apprenticeships are often delivered as a set of unconnected tools – by having the Watertight Marketing methodology our apprentices have a much broader understanding of marketing and therefore are better able to deliver marketing that works. 

EXCLUSIVE. We work with a group size of just 6-10 each time ensuring we give a quality service. We limit ourselves to work with a maximum of 80 companies per year to provide a more personalised service. 

EXPERIENCED. Most marketing apprenticeships are delivered by professional trainers with limited domain expertise. Our trainers and mentors are practising marketing professionals with decades of experience. Working together with your apprentice, our marketing practitioners review your marketing activities and strategy and come up with recommendations to drive the success of your marketing strategy – so what you end up with is something more akin to consultancy. 

Why does my apprentice get trained in a group?2021-01-14T17:33:46+00:00

 We have been training young people since 2005 and have seen first hand the immense value of peer to peer learning. In small groups, our apprentices learn from each other, share perspectives and bounce ideas around. They become very close and support each other throughout the journey. Many of our apprentices tell us that this is the main strength of our Academy – most are the only dedicated marketing resource within their business so their peer group provides an essential sounding board and motivator.

Why do you offer this to just 80 businesses a year?2021-01-14T17:31:27+00:00

We are not interested in pack them high sell them cheap! We only offer this apprenticeship to 80 businesses a year as we want to ensure we provide a very personalised service offering genuine results in support of both the apprentice and their employer. 

How is the Academy delivered?2021-01-14T17:20:39+00:00

Your Digital Marketer is supported in a number of ways: 

  • Monthly live masterclasses delivered online by subject experts and in the company of a small group of apprentices (5-9) at the same stage of learning. Peer-to-peer learning provides a rich and engaging experience. 
  • Weekly expert-run webinars allowing you and your Digital Marketer to ask questions on any aspect of your marketing campaigns and get advice. 
  • Extensive online multimedia resources created and curated by our marketing expert team.
  • Monthly assignments to ensure the apprentice can put into practice what they are learning – NO case-studies only real marketing for your business! 
  • Face-to-face course on coding plus virtual Google Analytics course. 
  • Monthly one-to-one sessions with a tutor/mentor via video call to ensure milestones are hit and all parties are held to account. 
  • Closed Facebook group giving access to a peer community and marketing experts – Google should never be the first port of call to understand how ‘to do’ some aspect of marketing. 
What does the programme cover?2021-01-14T17:18:04+00:00

We offer three distinct modules: 

  • Coding 
  • Google analytics and digital marketing tools 
  • Principles of Marketing (the bulk of the course) 

Coding: Your Digital Marketer will understand the basics of coding, how websites are put together and how search algorithms work. They will cover the principles of coding and logic and will get an overview of coding language. These are core technical skills that allow them to work effectively with digital tools and specialist providers like website designers or app developers. 

Google analytics and digital marketing tools: Your apprentice will become a blackbelt in Google Analytics including tracking codes, reports, setting up goals and campaign tracking. This is an essential skill to test and measure the effectiveness of any of your digital campaigns. Our advanced sessions cover data collection, processing and more complex analysis and marketing tools. Your apprentice will be effective at leveraging google analytics in your company and helping others to do the same. 

We do not stipulate that your Digital Marketer becomes an expert in any other digital tools since not all businesses are the same and what tool is right for one is not for another.  We provide curated materials and expert support and guidance so your Digital Marketer develops skills and experience in the digital tools that are appropriate to your customers.

Principles of Marketing: There is a danger that a digital marketing training programme could simply provide an understanding of a collection of digital tools but leave them with no understanding of which tool to use when and for what purpose! We take a different approach…

We have licensed the Watertight Marketing methodology which has been tested and refined on over 2,000 SMEs – so we know it works. Delivered by practicing marketing consultants with decades of experience, this methodology is designed to deliver real results for your business. You can expect your apprentice will be able to: 

  • Clarify what you are selling, to who and why. 
  • Map causes and effect to the six steps in a buying decision. 
  • Create a priority plan to support every step in a sale. 
  • Create a compelling message for each step in a sale. 
  • Select the digital marketing tools and techniques most appropriate at each stage and commit to a ‘marketing-rhythm’. 
  • Map the third parties with influence at each step of a sale. 
  • Plug any leaks in your customer interactions to support customer retention. 
  • Create core tools to support sales conversions. 
  • Make a clear choice about how to generate leads efficiently. 
  • Create a powerful budgeting tool to visualise rationale. 
  • Create a robust measurement framework to track performance.
Are apprenticeships worth their salt?2020-11-10T11:16:09+00:00

We hear this a lot since unfortunately the apprenticeship brand is tainted – “These qualifications are useless pieces of paper with no relevance to my business”. 

This is because the old form of apprenticeships (pre-2017) could be delivered with little regard to the apprentice’s role and the employer’s need.

The new apprenticeships are different. Panels of representatives from REAL businesses mapped out what the standard should look like. They’ve kept it really simple so you could see what’s involved on a couple of sides of A4. The reason for a light-touch standard is that each apprenticeship should be bespoke to the employer, rather than highly prescribed by the government. 

Apprentices get a nationally recognised qualification and employers get the skills their business requires. 

How do you ensure the training is right for my particular business?2020-11-10T11:22:04+00:00

Your Academy Tutor will meet with the manager and the apprentice to agree on what they will be doing for the business before the programme starts and then every month. The better the communication between the Tutor and the manager, the better the results. 

The manager is also invited and encouraged to take part, along with their apprentice, in our monthly expert webinars delivered by top marketing consultants. It will be their chance to put marketing questions to an expert, solve business conundrums and feel connected to the programme.

Throughout the programme, we will review our activities to ensure you feel you are getting value from the apprentice and they are putting their learning to good use. We will find out how things are going with your business, your needs and your future plans and will shape the learning to meet these needs.

The coursework is very practical and pragmatic. The apprentice must show they put their learning into practise.

What can I expect my apprentice to do each month?2020-11-10T14:14:56+00:00

In most small businesses, employees are required to pick up tasks outside their core role. It’s no different for your apprentice. As long as 51% of their time is on Digital Marketing they can support other areas of your business. In fact we usually encourage this because it builds a better understanding of the business, which results in better digital marketing. 

As a flavour for the types of marketing activities they might do, here are some examples: 

  1. Review the marketing messages your business currently uses at different stages of the customer journey. Identify whether each one has the right appeal and recommend how you might improve them. 
  2. Pick one of your top three marketing issues and build a mini digital marketing plan and/or campaign to address it, taking into account; objectives, audience, messaging, content, timing, budget, measures of success and platforms. 
  3. Think of a no-commitment trial to put in place that will give your customers a taste of what you do and how you deliver it without spending any money. Discuss with your manager what you need to do to put it in place.

Can I afford this?

How long before my apprentice adds value?2020-11-10T13:43:49+00:00

Our Academy is practical, tailored to your business needs and centred around delivering sales results, so we would expect for you to see positive changes on the bottom line within a few months. 

Some examples from our apprentices:

With any training, there’s an upfront investment of time before you see a quantifiable return. The lag time will be impacted by the nature of your business, your current capacity and whether or not your apprentice is a new employee.

How much is the programme?2021-01-14T16:37:40+00:00

To you, the employer, you make just £550 contribution to the training fee.  The government picks up the remaining 95%.

For apprentices aged under 25, you do not need to pay Employers NIC – this could save you c. £1,300. If the apprentice is aged 18 when they start then you get an additional £1000 incentive from the government.

We specialise in finding resilient, dynamic young talent. If you need our help with recruitment, our fee to support you is £1,900.

We walk you through the costs in more detail here or book a call. We are experts in maximising the commercial benefit from apprenticeship levy fund and other incentives.

I have an employee on a full time contract, will they have to drop their salary or change their job title to join?2021-01-14T17:13:02+00:00
  • This is a common misconception – you can pay an apprentice any amount above the age-related apprentice living wage.  So with an existing employee, you should not change their salary at all unless it is a promotion!
  • The only person that needs to know your employee is now an apprentice is HMRC; if they are under 25y you don’t have to pay their Employers’ NIC.
  • Actually, few of our ‘apprentices’ are known as apprentices; they are known as Academy Trainees or simply the Digital Marketer.
What is the average salary of a new recruit?2021-01-14T16:48:10+00:00
  • It depends on age and experience!
  • Apprentices can legally be paid less than the living wage but we don’t advise any organisation to do this as we believe it is a false economy. A good salary attracts top talent and results in better staff retention and motivation.
  • The national average for an entry-level digital marketer is £18k. We advise a starting salary of £14k  (£7.18 per hour)

    Then together we establish clear milestones tied to business success where the salary increases by £1000 every 4 months so that by the time they complete the programme they reach the £18k national average.

  • This very transparent approach acts as a great motivator and keeps both your apprentice and your business focussed on key marketing outputs.

What are the practicalities?

What about red tape?2021-01-14T18:04:10+00:00

Government funding does mean red tape – but we will walk you through the process over a few short video calls and then ask you to sign documents digitally.  We require about two hours of time from the Manager and about five hours for the candidate apprentice.

What is the Apprenticeship Levy and how do I know if I pay it?2021-01-14T18:00:54+00:00

Any business of 100+ employees is likely to be paying the Levy (annual payroll of £3m+). The levy is 0.5% of your payroll which is collected by HMRC at the point you pay PAYE.

Levy-paying businesses have 24 months to spend each monthly contribution on apprenticeship training (it can not cover salary). If you don’t use it, you lose it!!

The money in the ‘Levy-pot’ is ring-fenced for training. It raises £billions but it does not all get spent by Levy payers, so non-levy payers can also access it. If you are not paying the Levy, then the government will pay 95% of the cost of the apprenticeship training or 100% if they are 18y when they start.

https://feweek.co.uk/2018/11/10/employers-use-just-14-of-their-levy-in- first-18-months

When does the next Academy start?2021-01-14T17:09:23+00:00

 We run 10 groups per year starting every month except December and June.

How long does the programme take?2021-01-14T17:09:31+00:00

15 months.

What happens if it does not work out with my apprentice?2021-01-14T17:10:07+00:00

Your apprentice should be treated in exactly the same way as any employee; you’re not beholden to them for the 15 months if it does not work out. If they are a new employee, then you should start them on a normal probation period, let’s say six months. 

Is there a minimum age for an apprentice?2021-01-14T17:10:15+00:00

16 years. But we recommend that the minimum age you should consider be 18 years. They do a lot of growing up between 16 and 18 and in our opinion that is best done in a college or school! When we are recruiting on your behalf, the average age tends to be 23 years.

Do apprentices need any specific qualifications?2021-01-14T17:10:23+00:00

Yes. All apprentices need a minimum GCSE English and Maths at Grade C (Grade 4) or above. They can not have a university degree in marketing.

What if I need to recruit for the role?2021-01-14T16:54:04+00:00

We can help you!

We can help you! Working Knowledge has extensive links with educators, and a proven track record in recruitment, so we can find you high-flying young talent. The majority of the young people taken on by our clients are graduates. We understand what talent looks like, and can help you recruit a motivated and driven new employee with a thirst for learning. 

Your guarantee: It’s in our interest that your recruit succeeds and stays for the full 15 months, as if they don’t, we will not be paid the full training fee by the Government. We have an excellent eye for potential and can spot who will make a good apprentice but if it doesn’t work out within the first six weeks, we will help find you a replacement at no charge.

Does our location matter?2021-01-14T16:52:22+00:00

No. Since all delivery is virtual, we are able to support apprentices from anywhere in England.

Who might be my apprentice?2021-01-14T16:51:15+00:00

Many have a picture of an apprentice as a school leaver, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be anybody. Any age. Any level of experience. 

50% of our apprentices were already working with their employer. Our youngest is 18 years old and the oldest is 60. 

To access the funding, all the government asks is that the apprentice is not previously trained in marketing above A-level standard. Therefore, it could be someone on the shop floor who wants to change careers; or someone in administration that you want to hang on to by investing in their skills. 

If you don’t have someone already on the team who fits the bill, you might consider recruiting and we can help with that.

Have I got capacity?

What are my responsibilities as a manager? Does it matter if I’m not a marketing professional?2021-01-14T17:29:36+00:00

Very few of the client-managers connected with our Academies are marketing professionals.  It is our job at Working Knowledge to provide marketing training, guidance, and advice on your behalf.  However, as the manager you are the one with domain expertise so should be providing regular expert input, content ideas, stories, etc. In addition, as their manager, you should be setting expectations and supporting them to achieve their KPI’s in a way that fits with your company culture.

In terms of time commitment, you should:

  1. Schedule to meet with your apprentice for an hour immediately following each monthly Masterclass to understand what marketing activity needs to be done for your business that month.
  2. Schedule 30 minutes every month for the tutor video call to discuss what has worked, what hasn’t and the key objectives for the next month.
  3. Review the upcoming Friday webinar schedule and attend those that interest you (or listen to them at a later time)
  4. Provide at least one content idea per week or encourage others in the company to come up with the weekly ideas.
  5. Participate in creating a marketing dashboard that illustrates the success of all your marketing campaigns and review the dashboard regularly.
How much time will my apprentice be out of my business? ( ‘off the job’ training)2021-01-14T17:23:01+00:00

The government stipulation is that 20% of your apprentice’s time should be focussed on the apprenticeship; termed ‘off-the-job training’. That’s equivalent to one day a week within work-hours. But in reality, what does that mean? 

Our delivery method means your apprentice is only out of the business one day per MONTH. They also attend weekly webinars and a 1:1 monthly-meeting with their coach which will equal another day per month. The remainder of their apprenticeship-time will be working on assignments that are all real-marketing tasks for your business providing you with real results for the business.

I’m just not sure if we have the capacity to take on an apprentice…?2021-01-14T17:09:41+00:00

Pick up the phone and talk to us – Tel: 0117 304 8000.  We can help you evaluate whether joining our Academy is the right course of action for your business at this point. We will be very open and honest if we feel this programme isn’t the right fit or it simply isn’t the right time for you. Since our government payment is tagged to whether apprentices complete the full programme then it is not in our interests to hard sell! And as a social business, we haven’t developed the Academy to make a quick buck – we strive to make our Academy a positive experience for everyone involved.  

 

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