To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2023, we have caught up with our apprentices, Piers Ovenden and Jess Turner - to celebrate their personal achievements, discover more about their career highs, the route into work and what they’ve learned along the way that may help others considering an apprenticeship.
After joining Autotech Group in May 2021 as a Marketing Apprentice, Jess qualified with a Level 3 Marketing qualification in November last year and was immediately offered a permanent role with Autotech Group.
Cementing her apprenticeship success, Jess even scooped both the Digital/Marketing & IT Apprentice of the Year Award and the Rising Star Award at the Milton Keynes Apprenticeship Awards 2022. Here’s what she has to say about her journey.
You have recently completed your apprenticeship and are now Marketing Executive for Autotech Group. Can you tell us a bit more about your apprenticeship route and how this created the foundation for the role you are in now?
I found out about apprenticeships around the time I was doing my GCSEs when a speaker came in to deliver a career talk. They piqued my interest straight away. After that it was always my plan to try and go down the apprenticeship route instead of university.
Unfortunately, many of my peers and I were being pushed down the traditional university route by our schools/colleges, and there wasn’t a lot of support given to those of us who wanted to do an apprenticeship. They just didn’t seem to be clued up on how they work, or where to find one. However, I knew that ultimately this would be the best route for me and, as I was interested in a career in marketing, I started doing my own research and talking to a number of people in the industry and local colleges, before deciding that a Level 3 Marketing Apprenticeship would be my best route into the industry, and that’s when I discovered Autotech Group!
What for you was the benefit versus the traditional university route and where are you at now compared to your school peers?
When I was first introduced to apprenticeships the biggest benefit, we were told was that we wouldn’t have the financial outlay or student loans associated with going to university. However, when I was in the stage of applying for my A-Levels and really setting a plan of where I wanted my career to go, by far the biggest benefit for me was that it was a fast-track to starting my career and getting out into the world, whereas with the university route I would have had to wait at least 2 more years before starting my career. I was also concerned that although I would leave university with a respected qualification, I wouldn’t have a lot experience of working in marketing to aid me in finding a job.
Going down the apprenticeship route ended up being the perfect solution for me and now, two years after starting at Autotech Group as an apprentice, I’m a qualified Marketing Executive. Whereas if I had gone down the university route like some of my former classmates from school, I would not even have graduated yet.
What’s been the most exciting project you’ve worked on to date?
We’re a very collaborative and close-knit marketing team, so I was really lucky in my apprenticeship that I was able to get stuck in with all sides of marketing and get involved in a variety of different projects from the start.
The most exciting project I’ve worked on to date has been working on our motorsport partnerships such as our sponsorship of British Superbike’s Storm Stacey and up-and-coming racing driver Ruben Hage. Motorsport is a big interest of mine and an industry that I had prior experience in, whereas I’d never seen it from the side of sponsorship, so it created the perfect foundation for me to work on all the different aspects of marketing that are involved in a project of that scale. I was quite literally learning as I went, and part of my role has now developed into leading our motorsport partnership projects on behalf of the wider marketing team.
As a young person who not so long ago was searching for my first step into my chosen industry, I’ve really enjoyed working over on our Autotech Academy brand and witnessing how we’re helping other young people to start their careers in automotive.
Any tips you can share with apprentices?
Going into an industry that you don’t have a lot of experience in can seem daunting at first, but the whole point of an apprenticeship is that you’re there to learn as much as possible, so don’t be afraid to get stuck in, ask questions, and throw your ideas into the mix!
Piers joined Autotech Group as Marketing Executive Apprentice in March 2022 and is due to qualify with a Level 3 Marketing award later this year. Here he talks about his current position and why he would encourage others to take the apprenticeship route.
Tell us a bit more about your apprenticeship and the application process.
My application process was very straightforward, I found the job on Indeed, applied and the college arranged an interview date with me and Autotech Group. I then had two interviews, one over Microsoft Teams and one in person. After the second interview, I received the job offer the next day. My previous place of work offered only evening and weekend work so coming from that into a 9-5, five days a week environment was a shock however, from the start, my apprenticeship has been very enjoyable. I’ve been able to explore my creative side whilst producing projects to help the business progress – this has given me a huge amount of job satisfaction.
What made you decide to take the apprenticeship route, and did you explore any other options?
A lot of people I know who have gone to university have found it very difficult to find a job when they graduate. With an apprenticeship, you have the security of the job whilst you are learning. So, when I was deciding which route to take, the ability to gain experience within the working world, which I believe to be critical for my future, was a major contributing factor for me.
What’s been the most exciting project you’ve worked on to date?
The most exciting project I have worked on would have to be the support I have given to the company’s Autotech Training division, this has included producing content and print to help the business as it has grown over the year I have been with the company.
What would you say to anyone considering taking the apprenticeship route?
To anyone that may be considering an apprenticeship, I would say it’s the best decision I have ever made. Being able to learn whilst getting experience in your dream field will prepare you better for the future. So just go for it!
Are you ready to become an apprentice? Contact us to learn more about our apprenticeship opportunities.