Apprentice? You’re hired!


This week, February 8-14 is National Apprentice Week, an annual week-long celebration designed to shine a light on the work being done by employers and apprentices across the country and aims to recognise how employers of all sizes have stepped up to the challenge during this unprecedented time.

Rye-based e-commerce software business On Tap are joining the celebration as they proudly welcome their newest apprentice, 17 year-old Elise Garner, who is fulfilling the role of community assistant for Space Coworking – the business’ co-working and event venue in Fishmarket Road.

Elise Garner, just ‘signed’ as a new apprentice.

For founder Jane Brook, the decision to choose a young person for the role was easy. “Elise is the fifth apprentice we have employed since we established our base in Rye in 2011. Our small town location offers a limited skills pool to recruit from so the opportunity to ‘grow our own talent’ is a big part of our employment strategy for the UK team.

“The L3 digital marketer course Elise is studying is 100% aligned with our businesses and compliments her role as community assistant for the co-working space and events venue perfectly. Even the 20% off-the-job learning she has to complete each week for her studies crunches real data, delivering insights and creative marketing expertise for our businesses in a very affordable way.”

Swapping lockdown learning for “on the job”

Reflecting on her journey to becoming an apprentice, Elise says, “I belong to the ‘class of 2020’ with my GCSEs results decided by algorithms and past mock results. Having had so much time out of school due to Covid-19 closures, the thought of going back into the classroom for another year of exam uncertainty was daunting and peaked my anxiety levels. It was my parents who suggested an apprenticeship as a way to continue my education, plus get ahead in the job-market with hands-on work experience.

“My course is delivered remotely by GingerNut Training, and the tutors have been fantastic! Although I’m really missing my friends from 6th Form, getting back into a solid routine, coming to a professional work environment each day and being productive has been beneficial for my mental health. It’s a fully Covid-safe environment and the co-working members are lovely and supportive.

“I feel that long-term, this is the right decision for me. My short-term goal is to save my wages to buy a car and once I pass my test, take my friends on a road trip to Scotland in their summer holidays. I am enjoying my learning journey and now, thankfully, feel more in control of my future”.

It’s a win-win situation for any business considering taking on an apprentice as the government’s KickStart scheme provides incentive payments of up to £3,000 for employing a 16-24 year old. The scheme is open until March 31 2021.

Image Credits: Jane Brook .

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