A Smarter Way to Hire an Agency Apprentice

by | Jul 13, 2020

Sandy Linsey explains all about her consultancy and training academy Tangerine, and how agencies looking for an apprentice can hire someone in a smarter way.

Sandy Lindsay MBE has had an enormously successful career:

  • In 2002, she launched her communications consultancy Tangerine.
  • In 2015, she was honoured for her Services to Business and Young People and was awarded an MBE.
  • In 2017, she transformed it into an Employee Ownership Trust with now has over 60 partners.

Juice Academy train people to become qualified digital marketers, learning skills related to social media, content creation and all other types of digital marketing.

Sandy explains where it all started. ‘In 2009 we bought a digital agency called Juice Digital. We couldn’t staff it because there wasn’t such a person that was qualified in digital marketing. So instead, we tried to fix it. We started the Juice Academy as a not for profit as a way to fix the problem in the sector, and also create quality jobs for the younger generation.’

‘Since then we have created around 350 jobs in businesses across the region, from with Greater Manchester Police to small digital agencies. We recruit the young people, and put them through a vetting process, we recruit the employees and put them through a vetting process, and then they both come to a bootcamp held at our offices. Usually around 20 employers and around 50 young people. By the end of the day, usually all employers have spotted someone they think would work well in their team, they offer them a job and they both start on the programme with us the next day.’

Sandy explains what a Juice Academy apprentice is, ‘they are employed by the companies, but once every fortnight they come to the academy for a full days training, and in between these visits they have work to do for the academy that they must submit.’

Sandy also notes how successful this programme is, ‘93% of our apprentices get taken on to work for the company long-term.’

The scheme produces junior content producers, which Tangerine defines as, ‘someone who creates social media content, learns to use the correct software and develops a wide range of skills throughout the course that equips them to create any kind of digital content for a marketing campaign.’

Sandy explains what makes Juice different, ‘uniquely we train apprentices in house. The teaching is carried out by our own practicing specialists who are working daily with big brands on social media marketing. They are able to spot trends and changes very quickly, retrain themselves, and then retrain the apprentices in a matter of days.’

‘The programme is around 15 months in duration. After this time the apprentices are qualified digital marketers and they can either stay at their current job, if they are offered it, or they can go on to do a higher qualification.’

The Juice Agency asks that all apprentices are paid at least £10,000 a year. The fees you pay for the training are dependent on the size of your business.

Sandy also describes her own personal experiences, ‘having had apprentices graduate the scheme and work at Juice Academy, I always find that having a younger and fresher voice within meetings and contracts helps us to be a better agency. Yes, they need more support than someone with years of experience, but they are invaluable members of the team.’

Applicants to the programme are first asked to answer some questions which Sandy reads. ‘I’m looking for the usual grammar and spelling, but more importantly, I am looking for someone with personality. They complete online tests and are put through a skill scanner, then finally they do a 3-minute video of themselves.’

‘Whilst in lockdown, where bootcamps are not possible, we are sending CVs of our candidates through to employers that are registered with us, we are determined not to waste this time.’