apprenticeships in digital media

Developing & Nurturing Talent – The Importance Of Apprenticeships In 2023

Developing & Nurturing Talent – The Importance Of Apprenticeships In 2023

2023 is off to a fine start at LearnPlay Foundation! We have just received news that two apprentices passed with distinction! 

Bradley At BCTG

Bradley, an apprentice with BCTG as a Junior Content Producer, enjoyed his apprenticeship experience gaining new-found knowledge in a wide range of aspects covering digital marketing and content creation. Bradley comments, “It wasn’t a narrow path of only social media post creation or only video, it was a good range of different things including a multitude of different ways of creating media. The thing I enjoyed most was exploring new ideas based on feedback from others.” 

When asked about his future plans, Bradley responded that he would like to continue developing his skills in digital media, progressing towards managing a team of digital marketers. “The number one thing I have gained through completing an apprenticeship is the development of my skills through hands-on experience in a job role. This is something that will be valuable to anyone looking to hire me because I have experience working in a large company”, Bradley concludes.

Hannah At LearnPlay Foundation

Hannah, who also completed a Junior Content Producer apprenticeship, did so as part of the Design Team at LearnPlay Foundation. Starting her learning journey with a degree in Digital 

Illustration and Graphic Design, Hannah wished to round out her skills through an apprenticeship with LearnPlay Foundation. 

“Overall I had a pretty good experience. I learned a lot, gaining more graphic design skills. Even though I had done a degree in Digital Illustration and Graphic Design I felt that my knowledge of Graphic Design was lacking. I took on the Junior Content Producer apprenticeship to learn more about Graphic Design and gain more knowledge. I wanted to work in a setting where I would be producing work for the business and for clients of the business so I could naturally get into the swing of things. I feel that over the last 12 months I have definitely improved in the area of Graphic Design and feel a lot more confident in my skills.” 

As a naturally creative person, Hannah continually seeks ways to sharpen her skills, enjoying the challenge of learning a range of creative technical skills which are highly sort after in the creative industry. 

“The aspects of the apprenticeship I most enjoyed was doing industry work, learning more about motion graphics. I’ve definitely enjoyed sinking my teeth into the learning aspect, also getting to meet and work with interesting people and make new friends,” Hannah muses.

Degree Versus Apprenticeship

As a person holding a degree, Hannah is pro apprenticeships for their immense benefits. “As much as degrees have their uses – and I don’t regret doing my degree – their one downfall is that they don’t help you gain firsthand industry experience unless you seek out a placement year. Not everyone can afford university. Apprenticeships are the best of both worlds where you are actively getting industry knowledge and learning which many prospective employers see as a benefit and seek out.” 

When discussing her future career, Hannah remarks, “I would love to get into something in either Illustration, Graphic design or something similar to that. I’m looking at creative-based jobs either freelance or for a company.”

Closing Thoughts

It is clear from chatting with Bradley and Hannah that completing an apprenticeship is a financially sensible and worthwhile experience that has improved their skills and elevated their employment prospects. Taking on an apprentice is undoubtedly a win/win proposition for businesses looking for new, cost-effective hires! 

Join Our Free Taster Sessions

If you live in Wolverhampton and you desire to experience what it is to work in digital media, sign up for one of our free taster sessions:

  • Social Media
  • Graphic Design
  • Film Production
  • Game Design

We also have the following sessions available:

  • Robotics
  • Immersive Virtual Reality
  • 3D Printing

Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) sessions are also available for young people wishing to explore opportunities open to them.


Click here to sign up now!


* Spaces are limited

*Eligibility criteria applies

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The Ideal Time To Shift Gear | Upskilling For Companies

The Ideal Time To Shift Gear | Upskilling For Companies

The Ideal Time To Shift Gear

Redundancies are on the rise—a sad but actual fact – no fake news here. The outgoing P.M has done little to curb this alarming trend, leaving the burden on his successor. Society needs to move away from the mindset that the U.K’s significant financial resources are limitless and able to support the remarkable growth in the upward trend of job losses. 

Upskilling Staff Benefits

In recent years the word ‘pivot’ has come to the fore. Businesses have had to turn on their heels and revise almost their entire business model to keep ahead of Brexit, Covid and, most recently, the war in Ukraine. The effects of these factors we feel as a nation will not be short-lived. But it’s not all doom and gloom.

Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses riding the tidal wave have figured out that incorporating a digital strategy is necessary if they want to stay relevant in today’s market. However, this brings with it another challenge – insufficiently trained staff. 

For example, when there is talk about developing a social media strategy, most people’s eyes glaze over as their minds become entangled in the digital sphere’s technical language. This is particularly true for people who do not use social media. If companies wish to remain relevant in today’s business world, equipping staff with new skills is essential. Reviving outdated skillsets is imperative in today’s workplace.

Upskilling Staff Through Apprenticeships

Geoff Henderson of strongly believes in the ethos of upskilling and reskilling today’s workforce. In his many years in business and industry, he has actively worked to introduce traditional businesses and their workforce to new and emerging technologies. More recently, he noted the emergence of makerspaces or hackspaces around the world, which provide services to businesses and the wider community based on the combination of traditional or craft skills with the best of digital skills. Geoff found that these spaces attracted people from across the spectrum, cutting across the divides of race, gender, culture and socio-economic backgrounds.

Urban Hax has a long-standing relationship with LearnPlay Foundation. In 1998 Geoff and Ro Hands (Managing Director of LearnPlay Foundation) established RG Consulting. As the business progressed, it was clear that there were opportunities to reach and support the wider community through new approaches to skills development. Urban Hax’s new apprentice is being taught the practical skills associated with traditional technology and benefiting from LearnPlay’s expertise in cultivating modern digital skills. This combined skillset will help the company achieve its ambitions for the local community.

Both Urban Hax and LearnPlay Foundation strive to upskill and re-skill individuals to improve their prospects in the workplace and provide future-proofing in the arena of employee skillsets. Now is a pivotal time to reskill and upskill existing employees and for business owners to acquire new talent to bridge the gap in the skills divide.

Benefits Of Taking On An Apprentice

Geoff passionately addresses this issue through his recommendation of apprentices, “When taking on an apprentice, you’re taking on someone with very little skill, but they may have the right aptitude and attitude for the job! LearnPlay has a successful track-record; their business model works! What they have put together in their apprenticeships works well in the range of companies utilising them across the region. It can be easy for an apprenticeship to become dry and abstract. LearnPlay Foundation works on live projects and there is no substitute for apprentices to be pushed in the deep end as there is to work on live projects with real clients!”

While LearnPlay Foundation is adept at training apprentices, they are also passionate about upskilling or reskilling the workforce by providing short courses in various disciplines – good news for job seekers and those wishing to improve their skillset!

Contact LearnPlay Foundation today for more information on upskilling.

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Apprenticeships Are Taking On New Meaning In The Digital Age | An Interview With Matt Weston

Apprenticeships Are Taking On New Meaning In The Digital Age | An Interview With Matt Weston

It’s tempting to think of apprenticeships as ‘old school’. When you ask most people what the word ‘apprentice’ conjures in their minds, the first thing they say is a long the lines of someone who takes on a trade in the building industry. As someone who comes from a long line of builders, plumbers and electricians, I have heard my fair share of the word ‘appy’ in my time.

Apprenticeships For Coders And Digital Enthusiasts

Apprenticeships in the ’20s (the two thousand and twenties) have surpassed their traditional counterparts. In days gone by, we documented everything with a pen and paper. Now, we hardly ever have to use such antiquated methods to jot down our thoughts, grocery lists or schedules. Pen and paper have been replaced by a slew of digital options, from the smartphone to the tablet, laptop and desktop computer. Similarly, the transformation from the apprenticeships of yesteryear to new, innovative and digitally based apprenticeships has forever changed the apprenticeship landscape.

While traditional apprenticeships in building, decorating, and the like are still very much alive and well, the ‘new kid on the block’ in the size and shape of the digital media apprenticeship is an exciting leap forward for those individuals who are passionate about all things digital.

Government Funding For Employers Taking On Apprentices

When I started to delve into the world of apprenticeships, I was mind-blown by the sheer diversity of opportunities available to prospective apprentices. Not only are the options for apprentices vast, but there is also government funding available to prospective employers to help fund their new hires.

This week I sat down to an interview with one such employer in digital media. I met with Matt Weston, one of the Directors of Stone’s Throw Media, a video and animation production company in Wolverhampton, to find out more about his take on apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships In Digital Media

Stone’s Throw Media is a thriving business that started in the late 2000s with Matt and Mike, who met at Wolverhampton University. Since then, the team has grown as well as Stone’s Throw’s reach which runs the length and breadth of the UK.

I asked Matt about his experience with an apprentice he took on through LearnPlay Foundation. His excitement was evident, “The enthusiasm you get from apprentices is great! Apprentices tend to appreciate the opportunity and therefore work extremely hard. That can be quite infectious to the rest of the team to have someone who’s upbeat and delighted to be there. It’s rewarding to see your apprentice grow and learn from where they start and the progression over a year or two.”

Matt continued, “It’s also great adding a team member and having government funding to help. Initially, we weren’t aware of the funding available to us for taking on an apprentice, but we soon became aware of it. Many people are dying for this kind of opportunity, and our experience taking on an apprentice has been good!”

How LearnPlay Foundation Helps Employers

When I asked Matt how working with LearnPlay Foundation had benefited Stone’s Throw Media, he responded, “LearnPlay get it! They made the process simple to navigate, for me, my team, and my apprentice. That’s the great part about working with LearnPlay Foundation – a business can easily end up with a lot of paperwork when taking on an apprentice. LearnPlay made it straightforward and took the paperwork to the stage of needing me to add my signature. From my apprentice’s side, I have only heard good things and that LearnPlay Foundation has kept it very efficient with good communication and forward-planning.”

Matt went on to say that he felt that taking on an apprentice, no matter the state of the economy, is a financial win for most companies.

What Are The Benefits of Hiring An Apprentice?

Have you considered taking on an apprentice? Yes, it can be a steep mountain to climb with regards to obtaining funding, completing copious amounts of paperwork and sanely navigating your way through what may seem endless and daunting administrative tasks. LearnPlay Foundation can help you swiftly summit these seemingly impossible tasks – we do all the heavy-lifting for you!

Contact us today by direct message or via our website to find out how we can help you to help someone who is looking for a company like yours!

Sources: A Short History of Apprenticeships In England

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