National Apprentice Week 2019


This time last year, our Managing Director, Melissa Roberts, was a marketing apprentice. She spent two years as an apprentice before taking the leap of faith to set up Beanie Media. As its National Apprentice Week (NAW), we thought we’d put together a Q&A to find out how being an apprentice helped Melissa to set up her own business.

1) Do you believe taking an apprenticeship was the best route for you?

Absolutely! Taking an apprenticeship boosted my confidence as it put me in real time situations, which you can’t get with classroom learning. It also made me realise that I was more than capable of doing the job I had always wanted to do and it gave me the qualifications to go out and do it for myself.

Having always wanted to run my own business, I’ve always seen university as a way to waste four years. I wanted to get as much experience at doing what I was passionate about so that I could provide the service to others.

2) Do you think an apprenticeship has the same value as traditional qualifications. 

Honestly… I think it has more! I’m a massive believer in moving with the times and I think at some point traditional qualifications will become a thing of the past. With an apprenticeship, you are not only getting the same qualification as everyone else but you are also finishing the qualification with 4 years industry experience. – not to mention you’ve been paid to get a qualification! It’s a no brainer to me.

To become a Doctor, Lawyer or anything similar, I think university is essential as a different kind of learning is required. However, an apprenticeship is a fast track into an industry; you get to meet people and make valuable connections while getting hands-on, relevant experience.

3) Did an apprenticeship teach you any skills which helped you to set up your own business?

 Well, obviously I don’t think the company who employed me as an apprentice wanted to teach me how to run my own business. But, I am a very observant person and a good listener.

Because I was in a working environment every day, I learned how the day to day running of a business works. I observed how things went wrong and how they were dealt with.

I think if you want to run your own business then you have to immerse yourself in that trade as much as you possibly can. It’s great learning a skill while sat in a classroom but when it comes to demonstrating those skills in the real world, you can’t be sure exactly how to do this and what clients expectations are. I’ve worked in a client facing role since I was 16 which has given me the know how when it comes to speaking to people in a professional environment.

4) Would you recommend an apprenticeship to others?

I would highly recommend an apprenticeship to others, especially those who have an interest in a particular area. If you are certain on what you want to do in life, an apprenticeship is a hands on approach to reaching your goal. If you are unsure whether university is for you or not, an apprenticeship gives you an insight into what it would be like to work in a particular industry, so essentially you are saving yourself from spending 4 years at university to hate the job you come out with.

 When I started my apprenticeship it opened up so many opportunities for me and gave me confirmation that marketing was definitely what I wanted to do.

5) So you certainly believe in young people taking part in the apprenticeship scheme, but now you’re a company director, would you consider taking an apprentice on?

I would love to take an apprentice on and give something back to the economy, but only when the time is right. The purpose of an apprenticeship is to provide a young or inexperienced person with structured high-value learning and transferable skills and knowledge but sadly, I think many companies take on apprentices purely due to the fact that you can pay them less.

It’s very easy to spot these companies as they will usually have a high turnover of apprentices and staff.

Misusing the apprenticeship scheme in such ways means that no value is being provided to the apprentice and they are unlikely to stay with the company for long. – it’s a waste of that persons time.

Beanie Media will look to take an apprentice on when we need support within the business, but also have the time to invest in the apprentice. I think we will have another already qualified member of staff before then, meaning even more value can be provided to the apprentice.


Beanie Media is a web design and digital marketing agency in near Huddersfield, covering all areas of West Yorkshire and beyond. We help our clients achieve brand awareness and increase their sales through modern digital marketing methods . We create bespoke websites which set our clients aside from their competition, come up with crazy social media strategies to get our clients noticed and make sure everything is bespoke!

Our services include Web Design, Graphic Design, Video Production, Social Media and PR – all done from our Huddersfield office!

Email with any questions/enquires.