Colin Kersley on apprenticeships

Before ‘starting out’ in any creative industry, there’s a huge gap between working those soul-destroying, non-creative jobs to the job you want. That gap tends to present itself in the form of experience, or more importantly, a lack of. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience a filler for this gap in the form of an apprenticeship. This is something that’s been existent in a number of industries for decades and yet it’s lacking in most creative industries. Why is that? How are you supposed to get those 2-5 years industry experience and knowledge just to get a junior position? How as an agency/team/freelancer can you help shape the future of this industry?

Here’s how…

  • Find someone that wants that ‘dream’ job and teach them everything you know!
  • Give and you shall receive – share your skills and knowledge with them and they’ll reward you by producing great work.
  • Set a programme of learning – review, adapt and support often for best results.
  • Provide resources to learn from and projects to work on – a good mix of both will provide a rounded learning experience, covering a broad range of skills and knowledge.
  • Encourage ‘stupid’ questions – spend the time to answer the most important question… “Why?”.
  • Listen to them too – they can probably teach you a thing or two.
  • Pay them! – treat them as a team member and reward them for their work with a good wage.

As someone that’s experienced such an apprenticeship, I feel it’s the best way to be integrated into this industry and it’d be a great step for the industry to adopt this approach in educating more people to become part of it.

You’re a creative person in a creative industry, so what are you waiting for? Get started on creating an opportunity for someone to learn from you and help fill that gap to start their career.

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