MindWorks benefits from its first ever apprentice

When Melissa Jarmaine came knocking on their door, MindWorks Marketing had no idea how to put an apprenticeship in place. But working with The JGA Group made it easy.

The Challenge

Melissa was about to start a degree in primary education, when she decided to have one last quick look around for a marketing apprenticeship. She’d always been interested in marketing but hadn’t been able to find a suitable apprenticeship.

“A friend’s sister recommended MindWorks Marketing to me,” says Melissa. “I saw they had no apprenticeships going but I thought why not apply anyway, why not try my luck!

It was that positive and proactive attitude that caught the eye of MindWorks’ MD, Michelle Leggatt, who immediately asked Melissa in for an informal chat. “Michelle said that they’d been wanting an apprentice for a while,” says Melissa. “But they hadn’t gone about looking into it all yet. But she was so pleased with my CV and the way I’d come across in our conversation that then and there she asked me if I’d like to be their first ever apprentice! It was just amazing.” MindWorks then needed to find a very specific apprenticeship – one that fitted closely with Melissa’s background and the training she needed.

The Solution

They were pleased to find what they were looking for at The JGA Group – the Marketing Executive Apprenticeship Level 4, accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. As well as offering one of the most comprehensive ranges of marketing apprenticeships in the country, all JGA training is delivered by senior level professionals who know their industry inside-out. “The JGA Group supported us when we were exploring how to run an apprenticeship,” says Michelle. “We had an open line to the team at The JGA Group and they were all very helpful in answering our many questions as we had never had an apprentice before and were absolute novices. The advice and support we were given helped us with the selection of the apprenticeship course as well as obtaining government funding.”

The Outcome

Cost-effective, expert training

Apprenticeship training is a cost-effective way to bring the highest-quality training to employees. As Michelle puts it: “When you look at the apprenticeship scheme numbers, they just stack up. You have the government grant, we give the learner a fair wage and 20% study time. “What we have got out of it is fantastic; someone who is loyal to the company and producing some very good work. Melissa is a breath of fresh air and a complete go getter. It has been a very positive experience and I wouldn’t have any hesitation in doing it again.”

Everyone benefits, including clients

One element of the apprenticeship was Melissa meeting with her skills coach, Annabel Chow, once a month. JGA coaches aren’t only great teachers. They’re senior professionals and thought leaders who bring a wealth of marketing success and experience. Right from day one, Annabel supported and advised Melissa on her live projects, working with her to find new ways to improve the offering for MindWorks’ clients. That included specific support on Melissa’s End Point Assessment (EPA), which focused on her work with the Belfry – a shopping centre in Redhill.

Throughout the three-month EPA project, I challenged Melissa to help her to develop as a critical thinker,” says Annabel. “Through my challenge and encouragement, she was able to identify obstacles and bring tangible improvements to the service MindWorks were able to offer their clients.”

Nurturing an all-round professional

Through regular seminars, a key part of the Marketing Exec apprenticeship, Melissa developed a robust grounding in the fundamentals in marketing. That means every time she pitches an idea within her company, or brings a great new idea to a client, her thinking is backed up by proven best practice and current research. But more than that, the training has also helped Melissa to develop those soft skills needed to become a successful marketing professional. She’s grown in self-confidence, learnt to develop her own voice within the business, as well as build effective relationships with key stakeholders. And those skills will stick with Melissa throughout her career – as well as benefit her colleagues and clients at MindWorks.

 

Enriching the company and local community

Melissa is local to the MindWorks office, living just five minutes down the road. Her apprenticeship has been a great opportunity for the company to give back to the local community. “It has been nice to do something within our local community,” says Michelle. “It is what we are all about and chimes very well with our company culture and ethos. We are an extremely nurturing and caring organisation and as we are all co-owners at MindWorks all the colleagues are on a level playing field. Everyone was hugely proud of Melissa getting her merit and when it was announced there was cheering and clapping which was very well deserved. We were all delighted with how well she had done and would definitely consider getting another apprentice as it has been such a positive experience and truly enriched us as a company.”

The Future’s Bright

Now Melissa has finished her apprenticeship, she has a permanent contract at MindWorks.

“Doing this apprenticeship has allowed me to begin my career in marketing. I am now qualified and have no student loans to repay and so much valuable experience that you just cannot learn in a classroom. And I’m now working on the agency’s biggest blue chip client! The breadth of knowledge I gained on the course grew my confidence massively and allowed me to prove to not only my company but also myself that I was capable of the responsibility to look after such a major client.”