Are you struggling to find youthful, fresh talent?

After years of watching big London PR agencies employing Oxbridge alumni via their 'graduate programmes', I decided to take a stand, and change the way our agency employs young, fresh talent.

Lisa Malyon: Phone the National Apprenticeships hotline today
Lisa Malyon: Phone the National Apprenticeships hotline today
Why? A few reasons.

Firstly because I don’t want to be surrounded by people that have never had to work a day in their lives, and secondly, because I think what universities teach on PR degree courses is quite frankly a load of out-of-date baloney.

I wanted to break the mould to find creative, passionate and driven staff through the National Apprenticeship Scheme. 

You might have heard about it... and yes, they do offer more than just plumbing apprenticeships.

As a start-up, the prospect of being able to find staff with all of these qualities that I could mould and develop, while gaining financial support from the Government, was a no-brainer for me. 

I took on my first apprentice as my first member of the team, in July 2012 and have since employed four more fantastic performers, who all do the level 2 & 3 marketing qualification.   

Bringing in apprentices to any business requires a certain level of nurturing and time investment.

These individuals don’t learn everything overnight - although some probably could if you asked them to – but their passion, energy and enthusiasm to learn is infectious.

The buzz in our office is a thing of beauty; something money can’t buy.  

Sense’s first apprentice is now two years in and is an absolutely killer account manager.

She has learned everything she needs to know by watching and doing.  

I’d argue that she’s one of the most powerful people in the industry under the age of 21.

Training and development has become an important part of Sense, with over half the team coming through the scheme. 

Our apprentices are now moving on to higher level marketing qualifications and bringing in new knowledge to the business.   

I have a real fondness for smart people that choose apprenticeships over university.

All the apprentices were able to go to university if they wished to, but they all decided they wanted to get ahead by actively learning.  

How honourable, when their friends are all enjoying Fresher’s Week, that they are jumping on client status calls, and selling in news stories to national media outlets.

My advice to anyone reading this is pick up the phone to the National Apprenticeships hotline today, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the strong candidates that walk through your door in the next month – it’s a really overdue breath of fresh air.

Lisa Malyon is managing director of Sense

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