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National Apprenticeship Week 2016 – My Story So Far

Jemma Baylis
Jemma Baylis (former) Broadcast Apprentice

This week is National Apprenticeship Week 2016. The week’s purpose is to bring recognition to the apprenticeship scheme and the fantastic impact it has on everyone who comes into touch with it, from the apprentice, to the business, to the economy.

I joined Initiative as our first apprentice in September 2015. Since then, we have had three more join us, with more teams hoping to employ an apprentice in the near future. My decision not to go to university was mainly driven by my passion for the media industry. I felt like I always knew that it was the path I wanted to take, and although I was offered all five university places to study Advertising, I thought, ‘Why spend three years learning about it, when I have an option to join it now?

Since starting at Initiative, I have worked across the planning and buying on over ten of our clients, across both television and radio. I’ve met some amazing people from an amazing range of companies, and take pride in being able to have these connections. However, my experience so far hasn’t just been ‘broadcast’ based. I also help to keep the @InitiativeUK Twitter and Instagram profiles up to date with anything we find innovative and exciting, and of course, with photographs of our many media lunches and gifts.

Recently, I was invited back to my previous secondary school’s ‘Careers Day’, to talk about what I do and why I chose to do it - and considering I only left Sixth Form last summer, I felt pretty honoured. By the end of both my morning and afternoon presentations I had many students, who had not previously considered doing an apprenticeship, approach me buzzing with questions about the scheme and about working in media. To make that impression on so many other young people, and to at least get them thinking about the idea of undertaking an apprenticeship, is just a great feeling – and I’m only six months through!

Over the past couple of years, I really feel like apprenticeships have grown and become more recognised and reputable across many industries in the UK. But it is safe to say that I never thought I would be lucky enough to land myself an apprenticeship quite like this one.

Some advice that I would give to prospective and aspiring apprentices would be to be persistent in your search, browse regularly on reliable websites such as and to always maintain your ambition and focus on finding a company that is not only right for you, but that is just as determined for you to succeed as you are.