DfE to use multiple channels in campaign to convince SMEs to take on apprentices

The Department for Education is to launch a major new strand of its apprenticeships campaign, using multiple channels to convince smaller businesses to take on young people.

The DfE will use multiple channels to promote the latest strand of its 'Get In Go Far' campaign
The DfE will use multiple channels to promote the latest strand of its 'Get In Go Far' campaign

The 'Get In Go Far' campaign was launched last year to redefine the perception of apprenticeships among young people, influencers and employers.

The latest tranche of the campaign, which will use the tenth anniversary of National Apprenticeship Week next month as a platform to promote apprenticeships, is targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

DfE has compiled a series of case studies and endorsements, including from people who run SMEs and the Federation of Small Businesses, which highlight the benefits of apprenticeship schemes, including innovation, winning new business or boosts to productivity.

Also see: PRCA welcomes government plans to create three million apprenticeships

The Government, which aims to achieve 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020, will use the case studies to persuade SMEs of the benefits of the apprentices and encourage them to take one on or expand existing schemes.

The campaign will take the case studies across a range of channels, on and offline, to capture the target audience of employers.

DfE will use regional and local radio advertising, featuring interviews with the case studies in which they will extol the benefits of apprenticeship schemes.

There will also be a partnership with LinkedIn, where case study stories will be explored in greater depth and a campaign micro-site that will attempt to convert interest in the scheme into action.

Meanwhile, DfE will use PR to reach out to national business media, media consumed by SMEs and trade titles related to the industries the case study SMEs operate in, as well as regional titles where they are based.

Case Study: Clare Williams, founder and managing director of Templemere PR

"We believe in encouraging young people into the PR industry. Our own apprentice has proved to be a fabulous addition to our team. She’s received high-quality training from the PRCA, and this is evident from the high-quality work she does to support our work and our clients. As we are only a small team and our apprentice was our fourth recruit, we did debate whether appointing a graduate would be more appropriate for such an important strategic move. However, once the process began we realised that the calibre of the apprentice candidates meant that not only was this the best decision for us now, but also that it would be how we plan to recruit for junior roles in the future. Our apprentice enjoys combining her studies with client work within an agency, and is looking forward to completing the apprenticeship with us." 

DfE revealed that PR-specific apprenticeships are being developed as part of the programme by Simon Francis, a founder of Campaign Collective.

Commenting on the new campaign, apprenticeships and skills minster Robert Halfon told PRWeek: "Whether it is working on a media campaign or learning the business behind a successful company, apprenticeships in PR are wide ranging and offer people a ladder of opportunity to succeed in their dream jobs.

"It is fantastic to see the PR sector already taking advantage of the programme, ensuring they get the workforce they require, but we must do more to encourage others in the industry to come on board. The Get In Go Far campaign, launching today, is key to achieving this. We’re persuading more firms of the benefits of apprenticeships, and inspiring more young people to explore the many opportunities this path could offer them."

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