East Devon-based digital agency Cosmic has been offering vocational training opportunities since 1998 and was recently able to take on six apprentices thanks to the Plymouth and Western Morning News Growth Accelerator Fund.
Cosmic set up its apprenticeship scheme with the aim of giving all of its participants the best possible start in the digital industry by giving them exposure to every aspect of the company. All apprentices were offered the chance to rotate through different areas of business every six weeks and this saw the apprentices take on new challenges ranging from training and web development through to digital marketing and search engine optimization.
The rotations gave Cosmic’s apprentices (all of whom completed the scheme) the chance to discover where their strengths and interests lay and also allowed the company to make the best use of the new talent it had welcomed into the business. For example, one apprentice, Jack Bukin was originally interested in programming but found he had a real talent for training when on that particular rotation within the company. Jack has now gone on to become a full time Training Assistant and feels he has gained a huge amount from the programme:
“Undertaking an apprenticeship was perfect for me. Not only was I able to achieve a great qualification in IT, it also allowed me to gain a huge amount of experience from within a business which I feel is something that many miss out on when studying for a degree at university.
“I hadn’t long finished college when I started my apprenticeship, so working in a business environment was entirely new to me, but the challenges and work that I faced along my journey greatly improved my knowledge, skills and confidence.”
Cosmic is committed to supporting apprentices as they make the transition into a business environment and find their feet. With this in mind Cosmic worked closely with its clients to deliver a pilot scheme that saw its apprentices take ownership of entire projects for clients in return for a reduced fee, giving them fantastic client facing experience early in their careers.
Vicky Moss-Crump, the Apprenticeship Manager, recognises the huge contribution that Cosmic’s apprentices have made to the business: “The apprentices we took on have brought a whole new range of skills into our business along with really fresh thinking that helps us to keep pushing boundaries as an organisation. The digital skills of the apprentices we took on come naturally to them and it makes them question everything in a really positive way.
“In many cases they have also been able to help develop our business in new ways. For example, Jack helped us create a videography offer which has been really beneficial to us as a business.”