James Kenealey Apprenticeships
To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2020, we swap recruiters for apprentices in our regular series, Recruiters In Cars Getting Coffee, and speak to Group Training Director Matthew Leavis and Senior Marketing Executive Ben Taylor about their respective apprenticeship experiences.
Matthew Leavis has been with Morson since 2013, setting up and growing the Morson Training division. Starting his career as a rail apprentice, along the course of his career has undertaken a wealth of additional training to help develop his career.
Ben started at Morson in 2017 as a Graphic Designer and in late 2019 started a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship to further develop his career within the business.
Ben: All my qualifications in the past have been in design. I got my degree in Graphic Design as well as a BTEC in Graphic Design.
Matt: What made you want to go back and study for an apprenticeship at this stage of your career?
Ben: I wanted to become a bit more 360 to be honest. I want to work my way up in marketing and obviously to do that you can’t just be a graphic designer. You need to have a 360 view of things. Digital Marketing is a lot more analytical than what I do at the moment which is more creative. It’s completely new for me but I’m really enjoying it so far.
Matt: Well I started with Morson in 2013 and it was all around apprenticeships. I came onboard to do some specific work around rail engineering apprentices, and it gave me a real passion for working with apprentices and apprenticeships in general. I think it’s an interesting route to education.
Ben: One thing I would say is I’m taking the apprenticeship much more seriously than I ever did my degree. It’s probably because I can see how I’m using the skills I’m learning on a day-to-day basis. I passed my exam in November with a high pass rate and I’ve just passed my first project in my portfolio. The actual apprenticeship ends in September and then I have an entrance to work exam to demonstrate that everything I’ve done in the apprenticeship is going to apply in the day job.
Matt: We as a Group have such a passion for and a commitment to apprenticeships that I think your story is going to be one of many in the future, in terms of someone with an established skillset wanting to develop and learn more on the job. I think that’s what new apprenticeship standards are all about.
I did my Batchelors degree at Manchester Metropolitan University through the Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship and the great thing about management apprenticeships is that you get to take that knowledge from the classroom and bring it straight back into work to apply it. At Morson, we’ve got a wide range of apprentices across the Group both at entry level roles, new entrants to the business but also people like you Ben and myself who’ve been in the company for a few years.
Ben: It’s not that I think I’ve done everything in the graphic design world because that’s constantly evolving and changing, a bit like fashion, and it’s a passion I do outside of work as well. But whilst I was in work I wanted to push myself a bit further.
Matt: Being Group Training Director now, there’s a lot of responsibility to look at how we as an organisation are approaching learning and development, training, apprenticeships and education in general. I think having come along the route that I have, it’s really beneficial because we can have conversations like this and see the value.