22 year old Stephanie from Tyldesley attended Fred Longworth High School, where she secured 8 GCSEs grade A*-C in a range of traditional and creative subjects. On completion, Stephanie attended a local college to study AS levels but due to ill-health, she was unable to continue. Stephanie then began a BTEC in Business Studies, where she achieved a triple distinction. Like many academically able students, Stephanie was encouraged to apply to university via the UCAS process and received offers from all five of her choices. However, having enjoyed the practical side of her BTEC Stephanie decided that this was very much a path she would like to continue on, resulting in her rejecting her university offers in favour of an Apprenticeship. Stephanie applied to The Skills Company and successful secured her role with CM Solicitors in October 2015.

Stephanie is now working towards her Level 4 Advanced Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing and is enjoying her time with CM Solicitors, undertaking a role where no two days are the same. Describing a typical day, Stephanie explained that she could be doing anything from improving and unifying the company’s website, social media work, pay per click advertising or designing and submitting adverts for print, ensuring brand guidelines and print deadlines are met.

Speaking specifically about Stephanie’s role, Michael, Head of Negligence and Litigation at CM Solicitors and Stephanie’s manager, commented on the value of Stephanie’s skills and enthusiasm, noting that the “specific skills that Stephanie has are what solicitors typically lack. Solicitors are there to do the law and work through their files. Employing Stephanie as an Apprentice has been a great way to tap into a team skills gap, without huge expense or a big recruitment drive.”

Michael continued “Having an Apprentice has been really good for the business. We are confident that our marketing is being handled properly and is working for us. Stephanie has developed marketing plans and reports, meaning conversations based on actual facts and figures can now take place, as opposed to the previous notion of having a good idea, giving it a go and seeing what happens.”

Speaking specifically about why the organisation decided to take on an Apprentice, Michael explained that they feel that Apprenticeship Schemes are “brilliant and are still a somewhat neglected area for young people to follow. The classic route is to go to university but the reality of the situation now is that if you go, you will leave with a guaranteed debt of around £50,000. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way of showing young people what a role involves. If, after experiencing that role, Apprentices like Stephanie decide that the industry isn’t for them, at least they are making the decision based on experience and knowledge, rather than a course that has cost them £50,000.”

Commenting on her time with CM Solicitors and The Skills Company, Stephanie said, “I am enjoying my course with The Skills Company and the ability to put what I am learning into practice with my employer. I am hoping to do more in the future as my skills and abilities progress; eventually I would like to become a Marketing Manager.”