Harrison Bartlett is a recruitment marketing apprentice, working in the employer brand team at Kier. He joined the business in February of this year and here, he explains what his apprenticeship has been like so far.

“Marketing and employer brand wasn’t something that was initially at the front of my mind for a career. At school, I was set on doing something within sports media or sports journalism, largely because I’m a huge football fan.

My interest in media and sport was reflected by the choices I made during sixth form, choosing to study BTEC sport and English literature and language.

My two years at Sixth Form were during the COVID-19 pandemic. I had plenty of time to reflect on what I was looking to do. I did some further research and decided to broaden my options and look to do something media related in general as opposed to having tunnel vision for sport.

I always knew university wasn’t for me. I wanted to learn not just through a course, but skills that I could implement in practice in the workplace.

I was very focused on the apprenticeship route because of this, the idea of earning while learning was appealing.

So, I started looking for an apprenticeship that I felt would be right for me.

I first saw this role advertised on Facebook, it was local to me, offered the opportunity for agile working, and I felt it would test my media skills. So, I thought I’d apply and see what would come of it.

After applying, I heard from the recruitment team and then the process of interviews started. The more I learnt about the role, the more I thought it would be a great fit for me. I was so pleased when I was told I’d got the apprenticeship and would be able to complete a Level 3 digital marketing qualification alongside it.

In my first six months at Kier, I have learnt so many things from a variety of people. I’ve learnt about digital marketing, things I’d never have thought of based on my prior understanding. I’ve also learnt about what employer brand really is, how to strengthen it and more importantly, how it can help with not only recruitment but highlight how important our people are to Kier.

This point was made very clear to me recently.

As is the case with many companies, when you join as an apprentice, you usually join on a fixed-term contract (FTC) which lasts the duration of the course that you’re undertaking and once that comes to an end, your employer reviews whether they want to offer you a permanent role. When I began at Kier, that was the case and I joined on a two-year FTC.

For many, there can be that natural concern or doubt as to whether you’ll be kept on – this wasn’t something that was a constant worry for me, but I was aware of it, and knew that it was something I’d need to think about in a year’s time.

Now, I don’t need to worry about it as I was recently told by my manager that I was being made a permanent employee. And that I wouldn’t be the only one, Kier had made the decision to move all current apprentices on to permanent contracts and any future apprentices will be joining on a permanent contract from the start.

This was really reassuring to know. It made me feel valued, appreciated, and relieved, knowing that I’m going to be here for the long-term and can progress through the business, even after I finish my digital marketing course next year.

I feel valued, like I am making a difference and I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship at Kier

I’m really excited to continue learning more and more every day and progressing through my apprenticeship.”

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