Apprenticeships are seeing a growing surge in popularity, thanks to the rising cost of attending university, and the prospect of learning while earning.

However, tapping into the 14 to 19-year old market and persuading them that an apprenticeship is a viable alternative can prove difficult. So, what can you do to promote your apprenticeship programs and put forward a compelling argument for choosing this course of further education?

1. Exploit their social status

Pupils are often affected by what their peers are doing and will want to emulate them. This is why it’s a good idea to include current and/or past apprentices in all your marketing activities to help others learn about the benefits of an apprenticeship through their testimonials.
Hearing proof straight from the horse’s mouth will always be powerful, since the audience’s peers are an authority that can be trusted.

2. Talk about earning potential

Young people are motivated by how much money they can make and success in their career (but try not to worry if your program only offers the minimum wage).

Dropping in figures about future earnings in terms of salary and emphasising the fact that they can gain experience while getting paid will encourage students to consider an apprenticeship over a traditional degree (which will only leave them with lots of debt!).

3. Make the details clear

Don’t swamp your audience with too much information and make sure the key points about your apprenticeship are conveyed as simply as possible.

Students won’t want to spend time working out what it is you’re trying to offer them and what qualification they will gain at the end of it.

Make sure you set out clearly what they would be doing on a day-to-day basis, and use descriptive phrases that speak directly to the potential applicant, such as “you will be doing…”, “you will enjoy…”, and “you will learn…”.

4. Tell them about your business

Another part of your apprenticeship marketing efforts involves selling your company to prospective applicants by engaging them with what you do.

You need to sell your brand and your visions to hook the audience and show them that you are the sort of business that apprentices want to work in.

Look through your current marketing materials for inspiration and work out what is unique about what you do, and how it makes a difference in the world. Things to think about include:

• What you do
• How you do it
• Why you do it
• Your place in the industry
• Plans for future growth
• Exciting opportunities for apprentices to be involved in
• Previous apprentice testimonials and their successes.

Show students as many reasons as possible why they would want to come and work for you over the next few years, and you’ll soon have a pile of applications to sift through!

5. Look to the future

Another way to sell your apprenticeship is to talk about the opportunities available once applicants have completed the program. Incentives might cover:

• Further training opportunities
• Salary increase (usually after the first 12 months)
• Career progression, i.e. placement in a more senior role.

6. Get on social media

Once you have had time to put together some material that covers all the points above, it’s time to start advertising your apprenticeship (if you’re not already doing so).

As you’re probably aware, many people in your target audience are on social media, usually Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram in the 14 to 19-year old age bracket.

This will give your apprenticeship a massive amount of exposure, especially if you use appropriate hashtags such as #apprenticeship, #apprentice and #careers.

7. Explore government opportunities

The government can help businesses promote their apprenticeship through a number of avenues. These include:

Recruit an apprentice – here, you or your training provider can create, post and manage apprenticeship vacancies. Potential applicants can then search using keywords to find and apply for your program.

Higher and degree vacancy listing – if you have any higher or degree level apprenticeships, you can place them here, and even promote them beforehand to gain interest before applications open.

Vacancy snapshot – this portal is part of Amazing Apprenticeships, which is used in schools and colleges, and promoted to parents. This website allows you to submit a snapshot of your company apprenticeship recruitment process and engages those who may wish to apply for your role.

LearnLive – these are live broadcasts that take place in schools across the UK. They are information sessions that allow you to showcase your company and address applicants directly. These opportunities are limited, so it’s important you get in touch as soon as possible to sign up.

Apprenticeships are a long-term investment in your business’s future, so demonstrating how students can build their career with you is a great way to get applications on your desk and start a relationship with new apprentices.

Working your way through the points outlined above will help you with this, but if you have any questions about this post, or feel we can help you with your apprenticeship marketing, please contact us at: hello@nightingalemarketing.co.uk.