January 25th. 8am. The Private Dining Room at The Delaunay. A mixture of employers. A fantastic breakfast. And two great speakers. Welcome to the world of the 106 Breakfast Series.
This time, we focused on Apprenticeships, The Levy and Youth Marketing. Here are our key take-aways:
Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, outlined a few points…
The industrial strategy – the government’s announcement on Monday 23rd January about its industrial strategy puts a particular focus on the importance of apprenticeships. It is key to driving business productivity, improving social mobility and tackling skills shortages in industries that generate economic growth. What’s interesting here is the focus on social mobility – how many employers are really focusing on this or simply taking a similar model to graduate recruitment and trying to recruit the people with the best GCSEs and A Levels.
Public sector apprenticeships – we now know that the public sector will be recruiting 200,000 more apprentices by 2020, making up 2.3% of the workforce in public bodies in England. In a cash-strapped public sector, this is going to be a challenge to maximise the value of the apprenticeships – both in terms of money but also challenging the traditional model of nursing, healthcare, local government and other civil servant roles. A major bonus, though, will be the introduction of apprenticeships into teaching. This has the potential to change the perception of apprenticeship with one of the most important audiences, school children.
Institute for Apprenticeships – all employers should take note. The Institute of Apprenticeships will open in April and will become the body for ensuring the quality of apprenticeships in the future.
Careers Advice – for too long in the UK, career advice hasn’t been good enough. Teachers don’t feel adequately informed and there’s an inconsistency about careers advice from school to school. Sue told us that the Careers Service will come under her remit and there will be a focus on this in the future.
Then we welcomed Anne-Lise Johnsen, Youth Product Manager at Arsenal FC…
Segmenting your audience – Arsenal do segment different age groups from as young as 4, and see different loyalties and behaviours in children. 4-11 year-olds are different from 11-16 year-olds and equally 16-19 year-olds. They have done specific research to understand the behaviours, interests and loyalties at different ages. One of the most important takeaways here was to use different language and visual treatment depending on the age groups, and keep evolving it.
Understand social media habits – Often organisations see social media for youth marketing as a homogenuous whole, when in fact social media usage can be quite different for a 16 year-old as to a 19 year-old. For example, Ann-Lise showed us that Twitter becomes more prominent the older you get, while there’s a dip in Snapchat from 16 to 19.
Brand loyalty – Sports brands like Arsenal suffer from the same issue of brand loyalty as other brands. Teenagers can swap brands and clubs easily and instantly – and Arsenal’s approach has been to work harder to keep fans engaged. Even football clubs should never assume a fan is for life. If this is the case for a brand like Arsenal, it’s even more so for employers and their brands – it’s imperative to make engagement personal, relevant and continuous.
Memorable moments – Not everyone can go to a game. In the same way that not everyone can join a particular business. But if you create memorable moments that will last with people, they will become fans – either of your sports brand or your employer brand.
Don’t forget to take a look at our Apprenticeship Magazine – there’s some key info plus a whole plan on how to make your apprenticeship engagement fly.