The new age of apprenticeships is here. From humble beginnings as a route into traditional industries, apprenticeships have geared up for the digital age.

Since 2009, the number of media, digital marketing, and design apprenticeships have increased by a whopping 87%, meaning that an alternative entry route into creative industries is a reality.

An apprenticeship can be extremely rewarding. But with it comes new challenges such as managing workloads, deadlines and your own time effectively.  I asked Helen Telejor, HR Manager at communications agency Living Group for her advice to new recruits.

The power of practice 

Practice makes perfect, and studies have shown that there is some substance to the saying. Malcolm Gladwell’s widely cited 10K theory suggests that practising a task for 10,000 hours is enough to make you an expert.

Now I’m not suggesting you should cram all of these hours into your apprenticeship, but this popular theory enforces the notion that if you put in the time, anyone can succeed in a subject, no matter your current ability.

Why not try scheduling in a couple of hours of self-study each week? It may seem to be a lot, but it’ll help you sharpen your skills and add value in the workplace at a much faster rate.

Nailing delayed gratification

Delaying gratification is the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later one – something that can be very hard to do. Living for short-term rewards, may seem like harmless decisions, but, could be the difference between professional success or a frustrating career-ladder plateau.

Perseverance can be tough, but avoiding short-term rewards can help you set your sights on bigger goals and helps you work towards achieving them.

Find an in-house mentor

Always ask if you need help or guidance. People are friendly and all started somewhere, so are usually happy to help when you need a guiding light.

Having a go-to person to act as a mentor is a great way to enhance your development. They can give advice, make you feel at ease, and be able to answer those little questions that often get overlooked.


The ability to switch from logical based tasks to more lateral styles of thinking is essential. From coming up with creative solutions one minute, to following detailed processes the next, the ability to switch from lateral to  logical thought is known as diagonal thinking.

Apps such as Lumosity, Elevate and Memrise can help give a jolt to your neural pathways and train you into a multitasking pro.


Scheduling time slots for tasks are key. Making lists and having a clearly defined idea of what you need to achieve helps to manage your workload more effectively and be more productive.

Without structure, it’s easy to let the non-essential things get in the way of work. Have a plan of action and get a routine on the scene.

To find out more about Apprenticeships, visit to Creative Pioneers or National Apprenticeship Service.


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