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How the PRCA Apprenticeship is expanding my horizons #NAW2021

Scrolling through LinkedIn last week, I stumbled upon a Sky News story about Bob Bryce. At 76 years of age, he is the oldest apprentice at Govia Thameslink Railway and suspected to be the oldest in the UK.

With that admirable tale, I realised I was silly to be thinking of myself as over the hill. Turning 24 and with a couple of bumps in the road, I am proud to be part of a community of climbers.

Why PR?

My name is Naomi Bennett and I recently started a new job as PR and Communications Assistant at See Media. The role is part of a PRCA Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship – the only one of its kind in the UK.

Communications caught my eye as a career because it is creative, results-oriented and involves a great deal of people watching.

It is the joy of modern PR agency work that you get to try on many different hats. So, when I saw the job description for my current role, I knew I had to go for it.

Why an apprenticeship?

After graduating last year, I started a Marketing and Communications internship at SUMS Consulting. Still, I was struggling to find a long-term position in the industry.

Many entry-level roles were looking for two years’ experience, which I didn't have. Also, after wrestling with late learning difficulty diagnosis during my degree course, my grades were okay, but not the most competitive. Regardless, I knew what I wanted and kept chasing it.

Apprenticeships are great because they are fundamentally about widening access. People that could otherwise miss out get noticed. Those who want to recruit an apprentice tend to want to spot passion and potential, and train the rest.

Why See Media?

I knew that if I was going to work in communications, I had to be saying something that mattered to me. I reached out to the charity comms sector on Twitter and have now landed miraculously among them.

See Media specialises in the UK's affordable housing sector. We provide full-service communications and strategy support to housing associations and other values-driven organisations.

How it’s going!

I was surprised with how quickly I felt like part of the team. I think working at an SME helped a lot with settling in. The great thing about being on an apprenticeship is that your employer is signing up to help you progress. My colleagues have supported me to get hands-on straight away and learn something new every day.

One highlight so far has been interviewing veterans from a community self-build scheme and writing case studies focusing on their experiences now they have settled into their new homes.

The apprenticeship is a lot of work so I had to re-learn how to get my head down and focus. But I see myself getting a little better each day and I know I have a lot to look forward to.

To me, this apprenticeship means a wide-open horizon for my future. I’m hoping that, not too far into that future, I get to meet more of my fellow apprentices, as well as members of the broader PR and comms community, also getting to see my team for the first time in person!