Category Archives: Social media

A future in social media maybe?

Along with bright yellow daffodils and bouncing baby lambs, Spring is also a time when students are looking at making decisions about their future and careers fairs are a great place to get more information to help you choose your future path.  We’re delighted to be exhibiting at a number of events over the next few weeks and details of where we’ll be are below.

If you are a business, or a young person who’d like to learn more about the Social Media Apprenticeship Scheme, then please come along and have a chat with either Ian, Andy or Abby.  They’ll be able to give you some more information about the programme and tell you the dates for the next available course.  Look out for us in our black logo’d polo shirts, which on the back say “Talk to us about our Social Media Apprenticeship”.

You can find us at :

  • Aston Villa Football Club, Aston, Birmingham on 12th March 2012 from 3.30pm until 7.30pm
  • Hednesford Town Football Club, Hednesford on 15th March 2012 from 2pm until 8pm
  • Fenton Manor Sports Complex, Stoke on Trent on 19th March 2012 from 2pm until 8pm

More details of the events can be found by clicking here


The perks of the job

What a day!

Terri-Anne (left) from Passionate Media and Abby (right) from SSC-Learning went to Birmingham City Centre on the 1st November to tell Birmingham youth about the social media apprenticeship scheme. We have many businesses in Birmingham interested in the course so we thought the best way to get people aged between 16-18 interested was to send some of our learners to Birmingham, to hand out leaflets about the course. And that’s what we did!

It was definitely an experience for them as Abby had never been to Birmingham before; she said she felt a bit like a tourist especially when Andy from SSC-Learning showed them Birmingham’s shopping districts. The city was flooded with people but there weren’t many young people there, which was unfortunate. The girls had a good day though; they discovered new shops, which they never thought existed; Oasis is now one of their favourite shops of all time!

In addition, they met Dr Dawn Harper from the TV show ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ which was there highlight of the day. She was asking questions of people in Birmingham about hygiene. Unfortunately, they were unable to be filmed due to age restrictions but they did manage to get a picture with her. Bonus!

Friday the 13th… Unlucky for some, but not for SSC-Learning.

Following the success of our first social media apprenticeship programme held in October 2011, we thought we’d do it all over again!  

Our new programme kicked off on the 4th January 2012 with 15 young adults keen to learn new skills and the hope of finding an employer willing to give them the opportunity to show them just how capable they really are.

So… being two weeks into the training program, we decided it was time for our bright young hopefuls to meet some very lovely local employers who were equally keen to to see how social media could help their business and what having an apprentice on board entails.

Below, Carol Garrington, course Tutor and Director of Passionate Media lets the employers know what the Social Media Marketing Apprenticeship  is all about, how they can get involved and how they can benefit.


“Our employer engagement events are designed to be social; for our apprentices it’s an opportunity to meet local employers and ask them all about their business; for employers it provides the opportunity to find out what our apprentices are really like and what they’re capable of, without the rigidity of a formal interview.”

Pictured right:  Social media apprentice Louis Duffy shares a moment with Calvert Lawson, Director of Kalillo Drumming, as they discuss the  program.

All of the apprentices and businesses in attendance gained a great deal from the event, stealing the show however was Holly Farrow.

Holly pictured below; chose to join the program after deciding the photography course she was on at college wasn’t ticking all the boxes and trying to hold down a part time job as well as attending college was proving to be too much.

The solution was an apprenticeship program that meant Holly got paid whilst she learned new skills.

Despite being a little shy, the social element of the event meant Holly felt more at ease and able to talk to employers… And boy did it pay off!

Mazprint – a local print and design agency ( attended the event, keen to find an apprentice with the right skills and personality to join their business.

When they met Holly they knew they had found their gal, after a discussion with us and Holly they decided they didn’t want to lose her to another employer and invited her to the offices for an interview there and then.

Holly made a big impression on Mazprint and both directors Mike and Angie commented on how enthusiastic and polite she was, we’re expecting that Mike and Angie will extend a formal offer of employment later this week subject to logistics and Holly will join their team in February when her classroom delivery concludes.

The icing on the cake…

As a training provider we’re passionate about helping our apprentices, and as local lads we’re keen to help local businesses too, getting the message out there is often the hard part though.. So it’s no surprise we were overjoyed when local MP Aidan Burley turned out to support our program.

Pictured: Aidan talks to employers and apprentices at the SSC Learning event on Friday 13th at the Roman Way Hotel in Cannock.

Aidan’s speech was excellent and having once been an apprentice himself, was keen to sell the benefits to employers and apprentices alike and had this to say.

“If every employer in the uk employed just one apprentice there would be no youth unemployment”

To find out more about SSC learning, how you can employ an apprentice and how it could boost your business: contact us on 01543 448300 and reserve your place at one of our employer engagement events.

If you missed this one, SSC learning will be holding another employment engagement event at the Roman Way Hotel on Friday 27th January at 12pm (complimentary lunch included)

This is subject to change so please call to confirm your place.

Follow us for more updates on our social media apprenticeship scheme!


Photos courtesy of leasowsphotoguy

Abbie’s thoughts on the course!

When I was in school, I always loved my media lessons and my dream job was to be a Journalist until I moved into year 11 due to someone telling me not to bother. From then on, I gave up thinking about it and moved onto a completely new career choice (Hairdressing). I never wanted to be a Hairdresser; it was just something to fall back on. I was good at Hairdressing but after a year of doing it, I began to get quite bored with it. I used to feel like something was missing from my life and that I wasn’t using my skills to my advantage.
My lucky day was when I had a phone call from connections about SSC Learning. They explained the course to me and I remember thinking “Why not, I’ve got nothing to lose.” Since then it was the best decision I had ever made!
I get to do all the things I loved doing while I was at school but with a twist. I get to update social media platforms and monitor the progress of each page. I feel very rewarded when I see the statistics going up. From being with SSC Learning, I have uncovered a new interest. I now love networking!

Record levels of interest from employers at our Birmingham event!

Have to admit, arriving at 10:27am WAS cutting it a little fine for a 10:30am presentation, (darn those Birmingham traffic jams!) but
I hope those who were there would agree that our latest Employer Engagement Even tin the ‘Second City’ went swimmingly well!

The venue was perfect, (Thank you Andie and the team at Birmingham Small Business Centre on Newhall Street), our apprentices in attendance were in
fine form, and we had an absolutely fantastic turn-out from local employers.

We fielded a record number of questions, always a good sign, and once we’d analysed the feedback we were thrilled to find demand for no
fewer than ELEVEN Social Media Management Apprentices.

We’re not yet two months into this programme; and we already have a waiting list…!

Must be doing something right!

Thanks to Tenis Catering,  Event Masters, G-Casino, Pett Franklin & Co, Creative Soles, Health Exchange, PH Legal Recruitment, Salamander Fire and
Security, Debts On Ice, Southall Harries Ltd, Honest Employment Law Practice, Offsight Web Design & Consultancy and everybody else who attended or participated in Fridays event, we’re now focusing on ensuring that we have the finest group of young people we can possibly muster in readiness for Novembers programme.

As always, recommendations, both in respect of young people and potential employers, are always welcome.

We’ll be keeping everybody posted.

Last day of induction training, now the real world beckons!

It was a superb last day of induction training for our Social Media Marketing Apprentices on Thursday.

Rather unusually, they were all still going strong at 5:00pm despite a heavy schedule of blogs, grammar, idea generation and other exercises, not to mention the two visits by employers interested in the programme.

This group of Social Media pioneers are  usually completely brain-fried by 2.30 in the afternoon. I think the emotion of the day caught up with them, providing a shot of adrenalin as the reality that they will soon all be working as Social Media Marketing Project Managers finally hit home.

Our apprentices will be working for a broad range of businesses:

Marketing consultancy
PR/Media Agency
Software/Applications Developer
Merchandising Agency
Health Spa
Training Provider
Motor Vehicle Remapping
Office Equipment Supplier
Graphic Design Agency
Business Consultancy

We have had expressions of interest from many more companies… A very good sign indeed for the cohort of learners who will be starting with us on October 31st!

Our apprentices will all be coming together again as a group at least once a month, twice a month in the first quarter; in order to share experiences and good practice, to access the consultancy services within the programme and to have a little fun and enjoy each others’ company.

We’ll be blogging about their experiences in their new roles regularly, so please do subscribe to updates, there are some exciting developments ahead!


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.