Inspiring the next generation at Ron Dearing UTC’s Apprenticeship Expo

Here at Umber Creative, we’re passionate about helping young people to excel, and strongly believe apprenticeships are a fantastic way to take your first step into the world of work. We’ve trained four apprentices over the past nine years, who are all now enjoying successful careers in the digital industry. They loved their experience of learning on-the-job, and we found it so rewarding to see how quickly they progressed with our support.

We’re always on the lookout for fresh new talent to join the team, so regularly engage with students at local schools and colleges via our involvement with the For Entrepreneurs Only (FEO) NxGen programme. We received our invitation to the Ron Dearing UTC event after we took part in an FEO Masterclass with their students, to explain how setting up and running a business works.

Our Creative Director, Kevin, and Web Developer, Tillie, attended the Apprenticeship Expo, to share their advice and experiences with students who are thinking about the route they’ll take after finishing their studies.

We spoke to lots of students on the day about their hopes and dreams for the future. It was fantastic to hear about their career aspirations, which varied greatly from the Merchant Navy to stock brokering! 

We explained to potential Umber Creative apprentices how we would work with them and help them develop. It was surprising to see how many young people think you need to be the ‘finished article’ to enter the world of work. This simply isn’t the case, especially with us. As an employer, we believe it’s our responsibility to nurture talent and give apprentices the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. The students were quite surprised to hear that all we wanted was the right attitude and a willingness to learn!

On the day, we found some students were still making up their mind on the path they wanted to take, which is why events like the one we attended, and FEO NxGen are so important. Kevin, our Creative Director (and former apprentice!), explains:

“As an employer that believes in giving young people a chance, this was a great opportunity to meet our potential employees of the future and hear about them in their environment. Careers events give employers the opportunity to speak directly with young people, answer their questions and give an insight into what it’s like to work in their industry. 

“We strongly believe more employers should engage with young people and give them a chance. It’s not just beneficial to the student, it also helps to bridge the gap between education and work, which are two very different places.

“Educators also benefit greatly from engagement with employers, as it helps them to understand the skills they’re looking for in young people. If you think there’s a skills gap in your industry - go and do something about it! Work with educators and get the right results.”

Our Web Developer, Tillie, is a former Umber Creative apprentice, and also won the Humber’s 30 under 30 competition in 2018, so is a great role model for those seeking an apprenticeship in the digital sector. She said:

“Having a formal education is obviously great, but if that’s not right for you, don’t worry. Finding something you’re interested in and excelling at that can mean much more than a piece of paper with qualifications on. And just because you’re not academic, doesn’t mean you’re not intelligent. I’d wholeheartedly recommend the route I took. In fact, I think more people should do apprenticeships!”

We’d like to thank Ron Dearing UTC for inviting us to take part in their Apprenticeship Expo. We met some really bright, enthusiastic students on the day, and one has already applied to take part in our apprenticeship programme! 

Would you like to apply to become an Umber Creative Apprentice? Keep an eye on our website for vacancies or email with your CV.