By Simon Jones, Managing Partner and IPA City Head

Creative Pioneers and the IPA launched a new apprenticeship programme earlier this year in January.

This newly developed Advertising & Media Executive Standard offers a route into the advertising industry, but perhaps not through the usual route of university and graduate programmes.

As part of my role as IPA City Head, I was lucky enough to be asked to say a few words before the official launch at our Wavemaker North office. It was a great opportunity to speak about an industry that has provided me with such a fulfilling career.

One of the reasons I wanted to get involved in the IPA was to try and encourage the next wave of advertising talent into the industry. When I think about some of the apprenticeship successes we’ve had here at Wavemaker over the years, it just makes absolute sense for us to continue to support this fantastic initiative.

Apprentices bring so much to our business and we currently have 12 apprenticeships active across our UK operation. Our apprentices hit the ground running from day one and rapidly join the beat of our agency. One of them is retouching pack-shots for a nationally recognised brand for an upcoming social media campaign, while another is developing a new methodology for analysing social media data for an upcoming pitch. Last year, one of these colleagues was instrumental in helping us to win our first ever award for our Social Media work at the Northern Marketing Awards.

That’s seriously impressive stuff!

Thinking on, two other colleagues who joined via the apprenticeship programme now help to plan some of the UK’s most complex media accounts after just a few short years in the agency.

These people are learning fast and playing very important roles in our agency.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that whether you’re an agency lead, HR Manager, parent or a student deciding what you want to do with your future, I’d seriously recommend that you take a look at the options available to you in this incredibly exciting and challenging industry: