Professional Apprenticeships is an apprentice provider specialising in digital marketing, information technology, business and management. The company prides itself on its relationships with employers of all sizes, from employers taking on their first staff members to large companies recruiting across the UK.
The company was founded by former apprentices Adam Rooke and Carina Bush, both born and bred in South Bristol. They describe Professional Apprenticeships as “a company built by apprentices for apprentices”, so they are “extremely passionate” about what they do.
Their work allows businesses in the South West to access funding to train existing staff and apprentices to fill their skills gap and grow their operations cost-effectively.
The founders identified a gap in the market for apprenticeships in rural areas in the South West. They saw that business owners in Somerset needed help finding apprentices and set out to expand into the area to raise the profile of apprenticeships for both employers and apprentices.
The owners decided to open the Somerset Apprenticeship Academy in Victoria House, Taunton, in 2021. They approached Admire PR for assistance.
Professional Apprenticeship sought to:
- Publicise the launch of the Somerset Apprenticeship Academy
- Generate publicity during National Apprenticeship Week (8-14 February 2021) to promote their new venture
- Promote Professional Apprenticeships through digital open days, interviews with guest employers and apprentices
- Ramp up its social media presence in the area
- Get local businesses involved in apprenticeship programmes
- Raise awareness, educate and recruit apprentices locally
- Establish an ongoing awareness campaign to recruit apprentices for local companies
Professional Apprenticeship needed to create as much publicity as possible to get people through their doors. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and the Government imposed lockdown was a barrier that threatened to reduce the overall impact of the launch.
Admire PR wrote a press release publicising the launch of the Somerset Apprenticeship Academy. It was published [online and print] in the Somerset County Gazette, Bristol Business News, BBP Media (B2B news), Total Bristol and Direct Local magazine.
The press campaign generated interest from local business owners and resulted in immediate apprenticeship placements. Computeam, a local company, took four apprentices.
“Having a single employer taking four apprentices is very good. We placed two IT apprentices as soon as we began working with Computeam. We’ve been able to recruit for them where other providers have really struggled. That’s why they reached out to us.
“Computeam is still recruiting through us. We’ve built a long-lasting relationship with them, a relationship that we would not have had if it wasn’t for our work with Admire PR.”
Adam Rooke, Director at Professional Apprenticeships
Added to the press campaign’s success, Professional Apprenticeships had its first Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) inspection the same year and achieved the highest Ofsted grades across the board.
Professional Apprenticeships also won the Bristol and Bath Apprenticeship Provider of the Year Award; a grand finale to a successful year.