Billingshurst company champions the benefits of apprenticeship schemes as its first student graduates

Billingshurst-based marketing agency PMW Communications is celebrating after the first student enrolled on its apprenticeship programme successfully graduated following a 15-month placement with the company.

 Lois Edginton, who has now been appointed to the permanent role of Google Ads executive at the business, joined PMW as its first ever student undertaking a digital marketing apprenticeship that was run in partnership with training facility Creative Process Digital in Brighton.

Graduating with a distinction in Level 3 Digital Marketing, Lois was presented with her certificate by the Mayor of Brighton, Jackie O’Quinn, at a ceremony hosted by The Sussex Council of Training Providers at the Hilton Brighton Metropole. 

Lois, who chose an apprenticeship instead of following the traditional path of undertaking a university degree, explains why she believes such schemes offer huge benefits to students as an alternative option. 

“An apprenticeship was very attractive to me as it offers the chance to get a qualification while gaining real-life experience with the added benefit of being paid while doing it. Unlike the crippling costs and associated fees that come with studying at university, an apprenticeship is a paid placement, and the course fees are covered by funding from the government and the company sponsoring you, who will also pay you a salary set to a minimum amount. 

“I chose to apply to PMW because they were a business that have a very good reputation in my local area and were just a short distance from where I live. They stood out to me due to the difference in what they offered compared with a more traditional type of apprenticeship. Not only did I gain a qualification, but I have also gained invaluable experience in an exciting job.” 

Apprenticeships are available via the government’s website and companies who sign up to take part in the programme are required to commit to certain criteria, including paying at least the national minimum wage for apprentices, providing a job role that enables them to gain knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to achieve their qualification and allowing them to combine learning in the workplace with formal off-the-job training. 

Lois continues: 

“While many might believe that an apprenticeship is a breeze compared to a degree, not every day has been a walk in the park. Certainly not when you’re creating numerous detailed Google Ads reports for 15 clients from all different industries in the space of a few days and fitting in study around this. Fortunately, I have been surrounded by some really supportive people, including Tom, my manager at PMW, and Liz, my tutor, who have both generously shared their wealth of expertise and experience. 

“It’s been a great experience and I want to thank PMW and Creative Process Digital for providing me with this fantastic opportunity to start my digital marketing career. It has opened doors and allowed me to make valued connections and friends within the industry that I would have never had the chance to meet otherwise. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!”

 Tom Marchant, digital director at PMW, said: 

“It’s been an absolute pleasure watching Lois flourish. Everyone at PMW is extremely proud of her and we are delighted she has agreed to stay on at the business and continue working in the digital department in the role of Google Ads executive. 

“The decision to offer an apprenticeship programme has been hugely beneficial to our business. Before we took on Lois, we had been struggling to find qualified individuals to fill the role of digital executive, so we decided the best thing to do was to train our own! “The digital marketing apprenticeship meant not only could we get government funding towards this, but it has also enabled us to grow the department and successfully support our clients with the added benefit of gaining a great employee along the way. 

“The programme has been so successful that we have since taken on another apprentice who is already making a great impact on our day-to-day operations.”

 Companies or students who are interested in joining an apprenticeship programme can find out more information on the government’s website