Can you provide a quick overview on your business?
Ginger Nut Media are a digital advertising company that launched in 2011. We have grown rapidly and now work with many of the largest advertising agencies in the country as well as a wide variety of direct clients, consistently delivering on our promise of honesty, integrity and great results.
In 2015, after 4 years of success with apprentices, we expanded our company with the introduction of Ginger Nut Training.
Ginger Nut Training are a training provider with a difference. We have a unique understanding of the needs of both employers and apprentices and know what’s required when entering into apprenticeships.
We deliver apprenticeship training across various areas including Marketing, Business Administration and Customer Service.
Why did your business first consider recruiting apprentices?
We wanted to find a way to steadily grow the company and considered recruiting apprentices with the hope that it would create a sustainable future for the company and our employees. This has proven to be accurate.
How did your business get started with apprenticeships?
Initially, we took on 5 apprentices and the training was provided by an external provider. After the success of these apprentices and the great transition seen from apprentice to full-time employees with the company – we continued to increase our intake and begin to build our skilled team.
How does your business find a training provider and how was the process of working with them?
Over the past few years we have worked with several different training providers. Finding the most suitable is not always an easy process and we found it difficult at times – particularly finding a local company, which is much more convenient for our apprentices.
Once we had progressed to our fourth intake of apprentices, our experience with apprentices and training providers had grown immensely and we were inspired to launch Ginger Nut Training so we could not only provide the courses for our own apprentices, but other local companies too.
How did/does the recruitment process work?
We have always recruited our apprentices ourselves. Advertising for them and interviewing them as we found this was the best way to find those most suitable for our company and our job roles.
How do you help your apprentices settle into the business?
Our apprentices are given a full induction session and training on all areas of the company when starting with us. They are assigned mentors and introduced to their line managers so they know who to report to and who can assist them with work questions on a day to day basis.
Our apprentices have big responsibilities from the start, we try to make them feel just as valuable to the company as the employees.
We encourage the apprentices to expand their goals and skills to make their role bigger and bolder than ever before.
We treat everyone equally, whether they are a full time employee or an apprentices so they feel instantly included in the workings of the company and quickly become a fully integrated member of the team.
How far can apprentices progress in your business?
There’s no boundaries to the success and progression an apprentice can achieve at Ginger Nut Media. We take on apprentices with the ambition to either take them on ourselves or give them the ability to go straight into a role in the industry.
We have many senior members of staff who began with us as an apprentice and their roles here continue to grow.
What do you see as being the main benefits to your business?
Ginger Nut Media have sustainably grown through the apprenticeship scheme whilst encouraging and offering young people the opportunity to be working within a thriving industry. The programme has allowed employees to be the foundation of a company which is continuously growing, opening opportunities for all employed.
Apprentices are employed as the future of the company, and have been given long term projects which puts each individual in good stead for a long term role.
We recognise the apprenticeship scheme as a steady way to grow that creates a sustainable future for the company and our employees. We can invest time effectively to add longevity and value to each role taken up by an apprentice. We believe that our apprentices have allowed the company to diversify and we can now undertake projects that we were previously unable to accomplish. We will continue to use apprenticeships as a way of proactively developing both our members of staff and our business.
We’ve been recognised for 2 consecutive years as a Top 100 Employer, and awarded by Virgin Trains as SME of the year 2014. Being involved in the apprenticeship scheme has brought local and national recognition for the company which has coincided well with encouraging young people locally to source work experience placements and job opportunities with us. From this we have formed a great bond with local schools, Essex county council and also the Job Centre, as unemployed people are given the chance to gain something which lots of talented people lack- experience. Schools and colleges also are always in contact with us to attend careers events and to do short talks within the institutions.
What challenges, if any, have you found with recruiting apprentices?
We’ve not come across any significant challenges when recruiting apprentices. Keeping an open mind and being on the lookout for those with potential but perhaps not the necessary skills is really important to us – after all, we can help them develop the skills and tailor their knowledge to the role they are aiming for and the industry.
What tips have you got for new apprentice employers?
Having taken on apprentices for over 4 years now, we thoroughly recommend businesses do the research, keep an open mind and persevere to find the best fit for your company – both apprentices and training providers.
It is worth taking the time to look closely into apprenticeship training providers and find those offering not only the training for the qualifications you want to provide but who also have an understanding of your industry. This makes it easier for both yourselves as an employer and the training provider to work together and pick units, tailoring the course to the tasks the apprentices carry out in their job roles. The location of your training provider is worth considering too, with classes and training sometimes having to take place at their offices rather than yours – somewhere nearby can be a benefit.
When finding apprentices to join a company, it is important to remain patient especially when recruiting young people, as it will be slightly different to hiring a full time member of staff, and for most this will be their first ‘proper’ job that they are applying for. We always think it is important to remember that some candidates’ applications and CVs will not be of the best quality, because until they begin their careers and start to build their skills, they do not have much to put on there – it’s about spotting the potential in someone. We’ve discovered some of the best ways to gauge the commitment of a young person is through their response time on emails, their manner over the phone and whether they show up on time for their interview, particularly if it is early in the morning!”
Which apprentices have you been most impressed by? What impact have they had on your business?
Ginger Nut Media are so proud of all our apprentices and the hard work each individual has put into their time with us – this is highlighted by the fact that we have taken on so many after they have completed their apprenticeships. Each has had a huge impact on the company and their roles continues to grow.
What apprenticeship plans has your business got in the future?
With the launch of Ginger Nut Training, our plans and opportunities for the future are vast. We want to continue to work with and employ apprentices ourselves as well as helping more and more companies in the local community to do the same. The aim is to also continue to increase the awareness of apprenticeships not just to local businesses to but potential apprentice candidates to, so we would like to increase our work with schools and colleges to make sure students are aware of all their options when looking for their next steps.