Monthly Archives: September 2011

Employers’ Event – Cannock 20th September


We thought it might be useful to ‘roadshow’ our Social Media Marketing Apprenticeship and to get ‘real-live’ employers engaging with ‘real-live’ learners but I have to say it exceeded our wildest expectations.

We laid on lunch for thirty or so invitees at the Roman Way Hotel in Cannock, having leafleted/door-knocked/emailed and telephoned as many organisations as we could to ask if they’d like to attend.

It was the first event of this kind we’ve been involved in, so despite the confidence we all had in both the programme and in our fantastic apprentices, we were very nervous about the turn-out…

Had we pitched the programme in the right way?

Would people feel as passionately as we did about the ‘social media for business’ agenda?

There was absolutely no need for us to have been worried – We had a full house!


We learned three very important things:




1) There are many opportunities for our apprentices to secure paid employment for their skills in South Staffordshire.







2) Local employers really do care about the well-being and development of apprentices in their organisations.
















3) Our apprentices can be trusted to showcase themselves  as responsible, capable, creative young adults, who each have something to offer employers from their very first day of work.

4) Some of our learners have surprisingly good natural networking skills. At times it was difficult to keep up with them!


This single event generated FOUR offers of employment…And sufficient interest to suggest we’ll have more jobs than we’ll have apprentices to fill them over the coming weeks!

Ian and Andy at SSC Learning and Linda, Carol and the rest of the  team at Passionate Media are extremely grateful to the employers who attended the event for their questions, suggestions and all-round positive attitude toward our apprentices; to our guests,  Anna from MarketAvenue and David from Digital Media Mentor, and to our wonderful first cohort of Social Media Marketing Apprentices who will soon be writing for a living. (You’d better believe it!)

If you are an employer interested in participating in the programme, or a young person excited by the prospect of a career in Social Media Marketing; you can find out more by visiting SSC Learning and Passionate Media. We’d be delighted to hear from you.



Day 2 of the Social Media marketing Apprenticeship induction; and things are hotting up!

Sat in on a fantastic session on blogging. One particular excercise involved taking a particular industry, item or service and cascading out facts about the subject to create ideas for not just one, but a series of blog postings.

The subjects we ending up with ranged from Fashion, Big Hair and  Garage music to Real Ale, Dogs and Xbox.

The SSC Learning Award for  ‘Most Challenging Topic To Blog About’ has to go to our very own Mr Joe Szpara, for his ‘five interesting things about  light bulbs’

Strange, but quite excellent work there, Joe!

As Linda Jones said ‘If you can write about light bulbs, you can write about anything!’


I’ve been waiting for this day for ages

…and its finally arrived.

1:26pm, I’m back at my desk after a trip outside for promotional photographs with our first ten Social Media Apprenticeship learners.

It’s hard to describe how I’m feeling right now.

The Social media programme is no longer a concept. We now have a group of young people on board with fantastic energy, and it is such a rush to see that group dynamic take on a life of its own.

Surprising how emotional it makes me feel!

The programme began yesterday with  a two hour induction;  a little uninspiring content-wise but an essential first step to any funded programme, however the true spiritual start to this programme occurred at 9:30am with the opening  session  ‘ Introduction to Social Media’.

Within thirty minutes, our small group of strangers were ‘as thick as thieves’.  Smiles became contagious, jokes emerged, characters blended and bonded, those quieter members  began to speak up more; and they all began to act as we’d hoped they would…

As a team.

Whatever these young people invest in this programme, they’ll get it back in spade-loads. By the time we meet potential employers at our event at the Roman Way Hotel in Cannock  next Tuesday lunchtime; they’ll feel like superstars.

Our apprenticeship programme

Here’s a bit more technical information about our apprenticeship programme – if you are interested in finding out more, we’d love to see you on September 20th, at the Roman Way Hotel in Cannock, from midday.

It will be a chance to meet our learners, and find out how much the scheme could do for your business.

Firstly, apprentices now have to be employed at the beginning of their programme – there are some exceptions, but we don’t envisage they’ll apply to our social media learners, so we want business to employ them as apprentices from day one.

They will need a contract of employment for a minimum of 30 hours per week and on a minimum of £2.50 per hour. We’ll be encouraging quarterly reviews to be built-in, where salary reviews can allow for success to be rewarded.

A Level 3 Apprenticeship is likely to last 12 months, but that doesn’t mean the job ends – it’s hoped employers will continue to employ beyond the achievement stage.

Apprentices will attend a workshop once a month, connected with one facet of social media; each will be invited to bring in real-life problems or challenges that our media experts can advise on, which is great news for apprentice and employer alike!

At the end of the programme the learner will have achieved a full, level 3 Apprenticeship Framework in Management comprising of:
• EDI QCF Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Management
• EDI QCF Level 3 Technical Certificate in Management Principles
• EDI Key Skills to Level 2 in Communication and Application of Number
• EDEXCEL BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Social Media for Business

They’ll also have received many hours of mentoring and training across the programme from the marketing, PR and journalism professionals at Passionate Media.

If you’re a business owner reading this thinking it sounds like something you’d really like your company to be a part of, or you’re a young person who thinks they have what it takes to join our social media apprenticeship programme – then please let us know.

We have our first ten learners, but we hope to roll out many more programmes in the near future.